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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Community justice

The aim of community justice is to improve local quality of life. It lets people get involved in making their area a better place to live in by helping to reduce anti-social behaviour like graffitiing, vandalism and drug dealing.

Community justice in your community

Community justice is about making sure that people affected by bad behaviour and crime have a say in sorting out the problems in their community. This could include helping courts and the police focus on the crimes that local residents say are causing them the most problems.

Local people in the community can come up with ideas on how to reduce crime. This could include, for example, drawing attention to a local street that may be particularly bad for drug-dealing.

Who works as part of the 'community justice team'?

The work of a community justice team is done by various ‘agencies’ working together with local residents, including:

  • the courts
  • the police
  • the Probation Service and youth offending services (who supervise adult and youth offenders during their sentences)
  • the Crown Prosecution Service (which is responsible for presenting and bringing the crimes to court)
  • people who provide advice and support on drug and alcohol issues, housing, education and so on

For example, a judge or magistrate could meet regularly with community members to find out about the effect of crime on their neighbourhoods. This makes sure they are aware of the impact of crime locally. The community members can suggest tasks that could be carried out by offenders who have been sentenced to unpaid work.

Community justice can also be a resource for things that do not involve going to court, such as counselling and advice services.

Getting involved

You can get involved in community justice in a number of ways

You can get involved in a number of ways, from attending public meetings, to becoming a member of a community justice forum or advisory group. You could:

  • suggest an unpaid work project for offenders to carry out as part of their community sentence – such as removing graffiti, clearing up a piece of land or a canal/river
  • become a magistrate or special constable, or volunteer to sit on a Youth Offender Panel
  • get involved with Victim Support or the Witness Service

If you would like to offer support to a community justice team, please contact:

Where are the community justice projects?

Levels of anti-social behaviour vary from area to area. It is most common in communities where more people feel excluded and have problems with drug or alcohol addiction, family relationships or debt.

Because of that, the Community Justice programme is targeted at areas with the biggest need.

Programmes are currently underway in:

  • Halton, in Cheshire
  • Middlesbrough
  • Manchester, Rochdale and Salford
  • Kingston-upon-Hull and North East Lincolnshire
  • Blackburn-with-Darwen and Blackpool
  • London (Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest)
  • Leicester
  • Knowsley and Liverpool
  • Nottingham
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Cardiff
  • Doncaster
  • Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton

Other areas of the UK will follow.

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