Criminology & Criminal Justice
A reconceptualization of the idea of “community justice” is framed in the logic of the social contract and emphasizes the responsibility of the justice system for the provision of public safety. First, we illustrate the ways in which the criminal justice system has hindered the efforts of community residents to participate in the production of public safety by disrupting informal social networks. Then we turn to an examination of the compositional dynamics of California prison populations over time to demonstrate that the American justice system has failed to meet their obligations to provide public safety by incapacitating dangerous offenders. We argue that these policy failures represent a breach of the social contract and advocate for more effective collaboration between communities and the formal criminal justice system so that all parties can fulfill their obligations under the contract.
Taylor, C.J. & Auerhahn, K. (2015). Community justice and public safety: Assessing criminal justice policy through the lens of the social contract. Criminology & Criminal Justice: An International Journal, 15(3) 300–320.