Communities and criminal justice: engaging legitimised, project and resistance identities

Basia Spalek

in Communities, identities and crime

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348043
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301899 | DOI:
Communities and criminal justice: engaging legitimised, project and resistance identities

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This chapter looks at the notion of community with respect to the criminal justice and community safety sectors. It highlights how an emphasis upon community participation in criminal justice reflects broader developments in governance, whereby responsibility and accountability for crime is increasingly concentrated at local levels, whilst at the same time centralised control in terms of resources and target-setting is maintained. Furthermore, this comprises a form of institutional reflection that involves criminal justice institutions opening themselves up to the communities that they serve, with the lay public engaging with, as well as critiquing, rival forms of expertise. The chapter also discusses community representation within criminal justice and how community participation helps to create and sustain legitimised identities. Finally, it argues that despite the significant challenges that engagement with resistance identities (and indeed project identities) raises, it is important to stress that engagement should be actively pursued by government as a way of reducing further entrenchment and separation.

Keywords: community; criminal justice; legitimised identities; project identities; resistance identities; community participation; responsibility; accountability; crime; community representation

Chapter.  9472 words. 

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