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FGCU Invites Public to Community Justice Forum Aug. 11
7/28/2004

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public to join justice system stakeholders at the Community Justice Forum, sponsored by the Florida Gulf Coast University Center for Public and Social Policy, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 11 in the Whitaker Hall Room 101, to learn more about community justice.

"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.

The philosophy of community justice began in the 1990s as a move away from the mindset of centralized authority to one of joining traditionally separate entities such as citizens, police, members of the court system and social service providers.

The collaboration process changes the concept of focusing on offenders to address how crime affects victims and communities.

Special speakers at the Community Justice Forum include state attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit Steve Russell, Dennis Maloney, president of Community Justice Associates, senior manager of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Project and Community Justice Consortium Associate at FGCU, and FGCU Community Justice Coordinator Carol Helton.

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."

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Juvenile Justice Board of the 20th Judicial Circuit are co-sponsors of the Forum.

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, contact O'Brien at (239) 590-7835 or sobrien@fgcu.edu .


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