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Randolph R. Myers and Tim Goddard

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Pyrrhic Victory? Social Justice Organizations as Service Providers in Neoliberal Times

Beginning in the late 1990s, the United States witnessed a proliferation of grassroots organizations focused on dismantling, and providing alternatives to, the contemporary justice system-challenging laws, their enforcement, and mobilizing for youth justice and criminal justice systems that are both effective and fair to all communities. In addition to social movement organizing and political advocacy, grassroots organizations dedicated to social change routinely deliver delinquency prevention and intervention “services” through state contracts and foundation grants. In this article, we provide a descriptive account of 12 such social change organizations working on youth and criminal justice reform issues in the United States, and discuss the potential downsides that arise when critical community groups deliver services as nonprofit organizations.

delinquency prevention, criminal justice reform, nonprofit organizations, cooptation

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 41, No. 4 (2014): 62-80

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