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This Essay takes a close look at how the idea of community accountability is used in current transformative and restorative justice efforts, situating the concept within the history of delegalization, or a collection of different efforts to reclaim conflict resolution and public safety from the state. In fact, these efforts to reclaim the authority and means of redressing harm from legal systems may track earlier efforts to reclaim dispute resolution from the state. In Part I, we situate both transformative and restorative justice movements in the history of delegalization while noting essential differences between the objectives of these two reform movements. In Part II we analyze the phrase “community accountability” in transformative justice and restorative justice, respectively, and identify potential benefits and harms.

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34 Hastings Women's L.J. 5 (2023).