For more information contact:
Isabel Burruel Smutzer
Communications Coordinator 
(520) 740-5622

February 8, 2016
The Pima County Attorney's Community Justice Boards program
honored by Harvard Kennedy School 

Tucson, Arizona - Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall is pleased to announce that her Community Justice Boards program has been recognized by the Harvard Kennedy School as an important Innovation in American Government. The Community Justice Boards program, created by LaWall in 1998, uses an innovative strategy that holds juvenile offenders accountable for offenses without sending them through the judicial system and works to positively transform offenders’ lives. Community Justice Boards were envisioned by LaWall as a means by which to empower neighborhoods to deal with public safety issues and quality-of-life crimes.

"Breaking the cycle of crime has always been a top priority for me – the CJB program is a proven alternative that not only changes the course of a juvenile’s life but also makes the community safer," said LaWall.

The Boards are made up of volunteers from the community who are actively involved in the lives of youths who live in the same community and who have committed crimes such as shoplifting or vandalism (first and second-time juvenile misdemeanor offenders and status offenders).  In order to participate, juveniles agree to appear before (and accept the consequences of) the Board, rather than going through the criminal justice system.  The Boards help to make the community a better place to live, they teach accountability, and show youths a life that can be lived without crime.  Parents and guardians see very positive changes in their children who have participated in the program; the Boards have a success rate of approximately 90%. 

If you would like more information about the Community Justice Boards or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact (520) 740-5600 or visit