Back to RJ Archive

Putting the Community Back Into Corrections: A Partnership in Accountability

Kuehl, Jean
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Topics in Community Corrections. 2001:6-12.

In Iowa’s Sixth District, task forces and advisory boards are working on projects that affect community/restorative justice initiatives. In 1997 an advisory board was expanded into a Community and Restorative Justice Task Force to study related philosophies and report on whether they should be incorporated in community corrections. The task force was a diverse group that represented all segments of the community and criminal justice system. At the end of 1998, a strategic plan was developed to communicate and guide the implementation of community and restorative justice practices in the community. Action groups were formed around each of the six strategies. Each action group focused on drawing community members into the work of community and restorative justice. The action groups addressed community education, victim-sensitive practices, community/criminal justice system, investment in children, the creation of community, and offender education/accountability. Some lessons learned from the effort are the importance of explaining why it is critical for community residents to become involved in corrections efforts; the need to expand the base of allies; a focus on building trust and relationships; base action on principles grounded in restorative values; give priority to education; select leaders who see the vision and can inspire others to see it; and evaluate efforts. Challenges encountered have included support for the process, evaluation, systemic integration, momentum, and offender involvement. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now