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Abstract

This article reports on research conducted on the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, New York. It theorizes the structure and process of community justice, focusing on the model offered by community courts and examining how the Red Hook Community Justice Center's development and implementation are products of its immersion in the intersection of societal, spatial, and political dynamic within the Red Hook neighborhood. The article begins by reviewing the sociological perspectives that converge in the historical development of "community justice." It continues by setting forth a framework of social regulation and control that shapes the internal workings of these new legal institutions, and also influences their relations with the communities that host them. Next, it identifies challenges facing community justice centers and community courts in their efforts to reconcile a complex vector of institutional, social, and political dynamics." The Article concludes by revisiting the conceptual frames of these courts, and locating their historical development in broader themes of the role of legal institutions in rapidly changing social contexts

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