Participatory justice: The politics of the future

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Opinion polls indicate public confidence and participant satisfaction in the adversarial justice system have eroded significantly in the past couple of decades, as “inconsistency and uncertainty, delay and alienation of the community” (NAC 1973) have continued as perennial problems. The alternative of plea bargaining or dispositional justice has not fared much better, as several states have abolished the procedure and the last major national study of the criminal justice system called for outlawing the procedure nationwide (NAC 1973). An emerging alternative to the adversarial and dispositional systems is mediation and arbitration, sometimes called “participatory justice.” A model illustrates how arbitration-mediation can be used for all criminal cases; and it is argued that this participatory justice system is in harmony with the emerging sociopolitical world as envisioned by futurists such as Toffler and Naisbitt.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: College of Criminal Justice, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

Publication date: March 1, 1986

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