Collaborative Justice

Principled leadership for a more effective criminal justice system

Hundreds of communities across America are implementing collaborative justice—creating teams made up of experts from the legal profession and the community.

As District Attorney, Gene Keeler promises to form teams in Columbia County to advise the DA on the complex issues in criminal cases—social, behavioral, economic and health—that affect both victims and accused.

Team members will come not only from the legal profession but also from organizations involved in workforce training, housing, victim services, mental health, substance abuse, and veterans' groups. Collaborative justice is not soft on crime. In fact, the team approach will help deal with hardcore criminals more effectively, using evidence-based techniques to identify those who are a risk to our community and should be imprisoned.

Eight elements are essential for creating an effective team (Larson and LaFasto, 1989):

- A clear and elevating goal (such as reducing the rate of recidivism)

- A structure aimed at results

- Competent team members

- A unified commitment

- A collaborative climate

- Standards of excellence

- External support and recognition

- Principled leadership.

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