Understanding Community Justice Partnerships: The Role of Community Participation

Sinead Keegan, The Urban Institute
Caterina Gouvis Roman, The Urban Institute
Gretchen E. Moore, The Urban Institute

The number of crime prevention partnerships between criminal justice agencies and community organizations is increasing rapidly nationwide. While evaluations and assessments of these partnerships have produced countless lists of "Best Practices," little is known about how community organizations became involved, and what roles are played by various actors within partnerships. A recent study by The Urban Institute and Caliber Associates reviewed the role of community organizations and a myriad of contextual issues that challenge or foster their ability to effect positive change. That study developed a framework for understanding the capacity of community organizations to partner, and was designed as a baseline to begin to establish the correlates of successful community justice programs and initiatives.

This paper will report on the nextstep of this research -- the grounding of the framework within real life partnerships. The paper will begin to link community participation in community justice partnerships with outcomes, as observed in site visits in communities around the country. In addition, the paper will provide a review of the extant literature on community participation in order to determine how this concept has been measured.

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Updated 05/20/2006