Community Justice is an important balance of community safety, offender accountability and offender competency development. Balance in juvenile justice is achieved when all three components are addressed.
Changing criminal behavior is most effective with the use of evidenced-based practices and programs that cause offenders to take responsibility for their criminal behavior and for the harm they have done to victims.
Citizens have a right to live in a safe and healthy community and must be protected during the time an offender is under juvenile justice supervision. To assist with this supervision a range of interventions appropriate to the varying risks presented by offenders will be used. These interventions will focus on both appropriate responses to the present criminal behavior and to moving the offender toward healthy, pro-social community membership. Community safety cannot be achieved without meaningful accountability for the harms already caused and the transformation of criminal thinking and behavior for the prevention of future harms.
Criminal behavior affects and harms individuals and the community. Criminal behavior creates an obligation on the part of the offender to make amends to those they have harmed. The offender must meaningfully address this obligation through personal actions. Community Justice should ensure its resources are being directed toward holding offenders accountable for their criminal behavior and the harm they have caused. Offenders should be provided opportunities to make amends and repair the harm in ways that are meaningful to those impacted by the criminal behavior.
Accountability also involves the offender taking steps toward becoming a positive citizen. The community must play an active role in assisting this growth by providing opportunities for the integration of offenders into the fabric of the community as offenders take responsibility for their actions and seek to make amends.
Offenders should leave the justice system more capable of being positive, contributing members of the community than when they entered the system. Rather than simply receiving treatment and services aimed at suppressing problem behavior, offenders should make measurable improvements in their ability to function as productive, responsible citizens.
To assist offenders and their families a wide range of educational, skill building, treatment and intervention resources that are age, gender and culturally appropriate, and focus on evidence based practices and programming will be utilized.