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Understanding Community Justice Partnerships: Testing a Conceptual Framework and Foundations for Measurement

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2006
395 pages
This study developed methods for improving analysis of the functioning of community justice partnerships, so as to facilitate their measurement and evaluation.
The conceptual framework developed for the functioning of community justice partnerships emphasizes that they are dynamic entities that evolve through stages in which the interactions among parties and variables are constantly changing. The proposed framework can be applied at all stages of a partnership, enabling researchers and practitioners to examine partnership dimensions at different time periods. Evaluators can use the framework to describe and assess levels of partnership capacity and engage stakeholders in the dynamic process of formative evaluation. As an outgrowth of the framework, this study developed research hypotheses on partnership functioning and success. The hypotheses pertain to the impetus for the partnership, partner members, partnership characteristics (leadership and conflict transformation and horizontal and vertical integration), and community context. The authors advise that the conceptual framework developed in this study is only one step within a multistep process for understanding and measuring community justice partnership outcomes. Also required are the modeling of change, coupled with research methods such as case studies, panel studies, and rigorous process and impact evaluation that can achieve the knowledge discussed in this report. The study collected data on effective partnerships across partnership types. These data were used to develop a conceptual framework of partnership functioning and outcomes. A panel of experts was convened to review the conceptual framework and the hypotheses derived from it. It then identified performance measures and/or useful instruments for monitoring and evaluating partnership development, implementation, and outcomes. Tables and figures, 96 references, and appended sample interview protocol, partnership case studies, and measures and tools

Date Published: May 1, 2006