Community Justice is the prevention of crime and activities of justice that involve the community with an objective of enhancing quality of the community’s life. Community justice has its roots on actions that can be taken by citizens, criminal justice and community organizations to have social order and crime controlled. This concept challenges traditional practices of criminal justice drawing boundaries between communities and the state. Community involvement concern has resulted to an emphasis in dealing with social order which include prostitution since the community is widely concerned with the problem.
Prostitution in the community shows that, those practicing it lack good morals therefore bringing a disorder in the community which need to be rectified. The community courts intervene in bringing back the social order through adjudication and sanctioning. This is done by making judgments on the action of prostitution as well as deciding on the type of sanction to be accorded to the prostitutes. In the community courts adjudication is done by integrating the prosecutors legal services into the community where prostitution is been exercised. The role of the community courts in this case is to improve the quality of that community’s life by applying a systematic way of resolution of this disorder of prostitution. (Wormald, 1981)
Effectiveness in the adjudication of prostitution in community courts is made possible by the linking of this process with members of the community as well as combining alternatives of rehabilitative sentencing with punitive sanctions. For example in the U.S Community Courts, offenders of prostitution supposed to participate since prostitution is a form of misdemeanor crime so that their behavior in the community is improved.
Offenders participating in the community court have the sanctioning panel of the community court sanctioning them composed of the coordinator, prosecutor as well as community volunteers who have been trained. Sanctions for the victims of prostitution include community work service, administrative fees, educational programs, impact panels, cleaning the neighborhood as well as programs to rehabilitate them. If these prostitution offenders abide to the law for a whole year, completing sanctions given to them they end up avoiding charges of prostitution that had been filed. (Koppen, 2002)
Restorative Justice Solution to Prostitution in the Community
Restorative Justice refers to the repair of harm that is revealed or caused by behavior of a criminal and it’s accomplished by use of cooperative processes with all stakeholders included. In case of prostitution in the community, restorative justice responds to this act in a manner that ensures promotion of reparation, healing as well as conciliation of the harmed parties. Tools that help in strengthening the community are provided by restorative justice where prostitutes are made to take responsibility of their actions.
Education is also provided to those practicing prostitution about their actions’ consequences so that they are informed of what would result if they continued with prostitution. Furthermore, they are advised on positive ways through which they can connect again with the offended community as well as strengthening those neighborhoods. In restorative justice, the victim is assured safety as they are empowered through input maximization as well as taking part in outcomes and needs determination. (Nina, 1992)
The offender who is the prostitute has the right to be notified about the case proceedings and is supposed to be involved from when she commits the crime to the end of the process. Restitution is used as a means for sanctioning and it is highly emphasized as a priority of legal as well as financial obligations of the prostitute. If financial hardship is posed by restitution or one doesn’t want to pay restitution it should be determined whether the crime is the cause for that hardship. Interdisciplinary systems are established to monitor, order, disburse and collect payment of restitution to victims. Recommendations and research pool for Law commission of Canada has perspectives from different disciplines their objective being to make changes in the lives of people in the community. (Umbreit, 2003)
Community justice should be applied as a solution to prostitution in the community since it provides the best measures to help the prostitute become a rehabilitated member of the community.Here meaningful as well as constructive ways are used to hold accountability on the prostitute and prevention of prostitutions is given priority. Community Justice is also preferred as it seeks working relationships that are harmonious among justice practices, methods, and components within a justice system that is transformed. Arrest, adjudication, prosecution, supervision and sentencing of the offenders in community justice are recognized as legitimate forms of solving a problem like prostitution.
Community justice results are vital, safe and communities that are peaceful, where there isn’t an opportunity for crime to flourish and the customer gets satisfied with the system of justice. Therefore its better to have the prostitutes engaged in a process that will have them reformed other that where they are allowed to justify their wrong doings so as to improve the quality of their lives as well as having a morally healthy community. (Barnett, 1977)
Wormald J. (1981): Court, Kirk, and community: Edinburgh University Press pp. 56–61.
Koppen J. (2002): The Role of the European Court of Justice: Environmental Policy in the European Union: Earthscan Pubns Ltd pp. 36-39.
Nina D. (1992): Popular Justice in a People’s Courts to Community: University of Chicago pp. 29-32.
Umbreit M. (2003): Facing Violence: The Path of Restorative Justice and Dialogue: Criminal Justice Press pp. 79-84.
Barnett R. (1977): Restitution: A New Paradigm of Criminal Justice: University of Chicago Press pp. 64-67.