Local Citizens Team-up to Combat Crime; Community Justice Forum Open to the Public
FORT MYERS, FL - The public is encouraged to join justice system stakeholders at the Community Justice Forum, hosted by the Florida Gulf Coast University Center for Public and Social Policy, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 in the Whitaker Hall Sprint Room, to learn more about community justice programs.
“The general public would be interested in seeing community justice as a new philosophy to criminal justice, including prevention, commitment and aftercare,” Center director, Sandra O’Brien, said. “Justice system stakeholders have been discussing ways to implement community justice locally and regionally in our communities.”
Since emerging in the 1990s, community justice has represented a fundamental shift in philosophy, joining traditionally separate entities such as citizens, police, members of the court system and social service providers to move away from the mindset of centralized authority. The collaboration process changes the concept of focusing on offenders to address how crime affects victims and communities.
Dennis Maloney, director of the Deschutes County Department of Community Corrections in Oregon, is the keynote speaker.
National experts Dale Landry and Russ Reetz will also define community justice and conceptualize how community justice can be implemented. Discussion with time for questions will cover community justice in general and reforming current systems in place to community justice.
Landry is a community justice consultant from Tallahassee. Reetz is director of the Washington County Department of Community Corrections in Minnesota.
According to the Community Justice Exchange, “Across the country, community justice programs are giving citizens an active role in making their neighborhoods stronger and safer. They are improving the quality of life on a block-by-block basis. And they are testing new solutions to age-old problems that affect citizens and the communities they live in.”
Registration is $25 and includes continental breakfast and a parking permit. The Lee County Comprehensive Strategy Initiative, Lee County Juvenile Justice Council, Development Services Group Inc., Balanced and Restorative Justice Project at Florida Atlantic University and Florida Institute of Government are cosponsors.
The goal of the Center is to enhance the community development and social well-being of the citizenry of the Southwest Florida region through public management assistance, applied research, policy analysis, and public dialogue.
For more information about the forum, Center or to register, contact O’Brien at (941) 590-7835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about community justice, contact O’Brien or the Community Justice Exchange at 1-877-373-7300 or www.communityjustice.org/index.asp.