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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Abstract

The Tenderloin Community Justice Center ("CJC") began operation in May 2009 amid a tense political and economic climate. Although it employs an innovative approach to alleviating crime, the CJC is not a novel concept, but rather modeled after successful community courts already in existence. As a product of community efforts, the CJC aims to address the shortcomings of the traditional court system, which has been ineffective in reducing crime and recidivism rates, by offering alternatives to incarceration. By coordinating service providers intimately with the court, the CJC provides a centralized system that allows it to comprehensively examine an offender's problems and recommend resources and services that would help address the underlying problems associated with crimes. In addition to the strengths of the CJC, this article also discusses two key criticism of the CJC concerning the cost of the CJC and the criminalization of poverty. Despite such criticisms, the CJC seems to be a valuable model for curtailing expenditures and introducing effective rehabilitative and system changes to the criminal court system.

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