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General Resources

Criminal Justice Partnerships

Collaboration Across Boundaries: Insights and Tips from Federal Senior Executives, Syracuse, NY: IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2012.

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This is the second report by Rosemary O'Leary for the IBM Center on collaboration.  In 2007, Professor O'Leary wrote (with Lisa Blomgren Bingham) A Manager's Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks. Read together, the 2007 report andCollaboration Across Boundaries provide highly use­ful information to government executives at all levels on how to collaborate, and on how to respond to conflicts that can arise during such collaboration.  To access the 2007 report, click here:

Faith Community and Criminal Justice Collaboration: A Collection of Effective Programs. Washington, D.C.: National Crime Prevention Council, 2005.

Faith Community and Criminal Justice Collaboration: A Collection of Effective Programs examines how people of faith work with or in criminal justice institutions to reconcile, restore, and nurture individuals back into families and communities. Included in this document are examples about people of faith serving across the entire criminal justice spectrum, from alternative programs for juveniles to support services for newly released ex–offenders.

Understanding Community Justice Partnerships: Assessing the Capacity to Partner. Roman, C. Washington D.C.: Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, 2002.

The role of community organizations in partnerships, and the myriad contextual issues—social, economic, political and spatial—that challenge or foster their ability to affect positive change within partnership initiatives are reviewed. This document addresses assessing the capacity to partner; viewing community organizations within the community fold; recognizing community organizations as partners; developing a framework for understanding partnership capacity; and a description of community justice partnerships.

The National Symposium on Law Enforcement–Corrections Partnerships. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Corrections Programs Office, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 1998.

Experiments in law enforcement–corrections collaboration are proving successful, bringing results in crime prevention, detection, and apprehension. This symposium documentation discusses the purpose, benefits, drawbacks, and methods of partnerships between law enforcement and correction agencies, some of which are an outgrowth of community policing or community corrections.

Improving State and Local Criminal Justice Systems: A Report on How Public Defenders, Prosecutors, and Other Criminal Justice System Practitioners are Collaborating Across the Country. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 1998.

This report details ways in which public defenders, prosecutors, and other criminal justice practitioners are collaborating across the country. It describes seven models of collaborative interagency planning. The models and jurisdictions in which they are used are: criminal justice planning commissions (California, Georgia, Kentucky, and Nebraska); cooperation in programs receiving federal funds (California, Delaware, and Minnesota); task forces (Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington State); coalitions (Florida and Arizona); joint prosecutor/public defender unions (California and Minnesota); cooperation in case tracking and criminal history systems (Florida, Delaware, and Rhode Island); and fiscal impact statements (Maryland). An appendix provides names and addresses of contacts for more information about each program.


Ethics and Judges’ Evolving Roles Off the Bench: Serving on Governmental Commissions. American Judicature Society. Chicago, IL: State Justice Institute, 2002.

This document identifies a number of factors that would make a judge’s participation as a member of a collaborative team more appropriate. To encourage judicial participation, collaborative teams should: take policy positions central to the legal system and relating to matters arising in and directly affecting the bench; serve the interests of those who use the legal system; be directly and primarily connected to how the courts function to deliver unbiased, effective justice; work on issues that a judge, by virtue of judicial experience, is uniquely qualified to address; recommend action that benefits the law and legal system itself rather than any particular cause or group; and have a diverse membership that represents more than one point of view.

Evidence Based Practices

Implementing Evidence–Based Principles in Community Corrections: Collaboration for Systemic Change in the Criminal Justice System. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Corrections, Community Corrections Division, and Boston, MA: Crime and Justice Institute, 2004.

The use of collaboration to implement an integrated system reform model is explained. Topics covered include: the need to collaborate; who should be included in a criminal justice collaborative; the need for structure; sustaining collaboration; a collaborative model for implementing change; essential elements of collaboration; chartering; and consensus decisionmaking.

Best Practices and Lessons Learned: Multidisciplinary and Integrated Justice Projects. George K. Canada: Department of Justice, Research and Statistics Division, 1999.

This document contains a compendium of multi–disciplinary and integrated justice projects from across Canada; describes best practices and lessons learned by these projects; explores the possibility of evaluating these partnerships; investigates ways in which non–governmental agencies could be more involved in criminal justice collaboratives; and examines the role of integrated justice in the areas of family, civil, and criminal law.

Organizational Development

Collaboration: What Makes it Work. A Review of Research Literature on Factors Influencing Successful Collaboration. Mattessich, P., Murray –Close, M., and Monsey, B. St. Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 2001.

Recently, both the theory and practice of collaboration have received increasing attention, from both scholars and practitioners. Mattessich, Murray–Close, and Monsey cite and describe 20 factors leading to successful collaboration and the 22 studies that have examined these factors.

Evaluating Your Collaborative Effort. Borden, L., and Perkins, D. Program Evaluation Newsletter 1 (5). Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, 1998.

This report describes a card sorting activity to determine the level of interaction within or between groups. By sorting the cards, group members are able to see the level of collaboration achieved or needed.

The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations. Dörner, D., Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 1996.

This book examines why organizations fail. The author indicates that failure is often attributable to “dealing with a system as if it were a bundle of unrelated individual systems.” While this may be the easiest approach to management of an organization, the author suggests that it is also “the method that guarantees neglect of side effects and repercussions and therefore guarantees failure… if we have no idea how the variables in a system influence one another, we cannot take those influences into account.” According to Dorner, planning is the act of considering a series of actions. A planning sequence is complete when it includes a condition element, an action element, and a result element. After the current conditions are considered, actions designed to achieve specific results are carried out. Dorner found that a successful result was most often predicted when multiple stakeholders were involved in the decision process, asked numerous questions about the initiative, and invested substantial time in reflecting on these elements.

Beyond Reengineering: How Process–Centered Organization is Changing our Work and our Lives. Hammer, M. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996.

“Reengineering,” as described by Michael Hammer, examines improving corporations by focusing on process rather than products. In process–centered organizations, management systems are reinvented to create customer value.

Creating Collaborative Advantage. Huxham, C. (Ed.). London: Sage Publications, 1996.

Defining collaboration is difficult because of the ambiguities in practical usage. For example, the word “collaboration” is commonly interchanged with terms such as “networking,” “cooperation,” and “coordination.” Huxham provides definitions in an effort to distinguish collaboration from these other terms.

Leadership and the New Science: Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe. Wheatley, M. San Francisco, CA: Berrett–Koehler Publishers, 1992.

Wheatley explores the twentieth century shift away from Newtonian mechanics toward quantum physics and the connections of this shift to organizational management practices. A Newtonian model of the world is characterized by a focus on discrete things, such as atoms and their separate particles. Most organizations are built on Newtonian concepts, with an emphasis on structure and reduction into parts. In quantum physics, however, it is the relationship between particles and the observer that determines their nature. Particles change form as they interact with one another and with their surroundings. In quantum terms, reality in organizations emerges through the process of observation, from decisions we the observers make about what we see. An interpretation of a perception does not stabilize until we make a specific observation and come to a conclusion about it. If there are only a few observers, there will be few interpretations of that perception or data. But a collaborating group of stakeholders will see multiple intersections between the data and the observer. The group will listen to many possible interpretations of that information until a general consensus about the information is discovered.

Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems. Gray, B. San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass Publishers, 1989.

This book describes obstacles to collaboration such as institutional disincentives, historical barriers, power disparities, societal level dynamics, differing perceptions of risk, technical complexity, political and institutional cultures, and hierarchy. The book also describes the collaborative process from problem setting through direction setting and implementation. Also discussed are the dynamics of collaboration and how to organize for successful collaboration.


Group Dynamics for Teams. Levi, D. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001.

This book addresses the challenges of working together as a team and provides tools to mitigate these challenges (e.g., encouraging active participation from all members, securing commitment and cohesion, and clearly identifying the roles of each team member). The author offers tips about how to improve communication during meetings, how to manage conflict among team members, how to assess leadership styles, and how to approach group decisionmaking.

How to Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills, 2nd Edition. Rees, F. San Francisco, CA: Jossey–Bass Publishers, 2001.

This guide details the essential components of teamwork. It covers such topics as shared responsibility and leadership, leadership styles, and the value of skilled facilitation. Rees also describes how to effectively plan and manage meetings, including techniques for encouraging full participation, acknowledging individual ideas, managing the group process, and reaching consensus and closure.

Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders. Whelan, S. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999.

The author focuses on how to encourage the development of effective teams. She describes the various stages that groups must go through before becoming highly functional. She also provides several checklists that teams can use to assess whether in fact they are “high functioning” as a team and as individual team members. A discussion about how individual team members can best contribute to the overall work of the team is also included. Individual team members are encouraged to contribute to the development of the team by seeking goal, role, and task clarification; encouraging a structure that includes open communication; promoting effective problem–solving and decisionmaking processes; and supporting other team members and the group’s leader.

Team Work and Group Dynamics. Stewart, G., Manz, C., and Sims, H. P. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 1999.

The authors describe the history of work teams and how they have evolved in recent years. They cite the ways in which teams can be an effective resource in problem solving and describe the optimal characteristics of high functioning teams: those with high leadership capability or the ability to collectively self–manage, those with clear and defined goals for their work, and those with an appropriate and diverse composition of team members to address the issue at hand. The book includes two in–depth case studies of companies that achieved their goals as a result of their team’s work.

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Collins, J., and Porras, J. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

In Built to Last, James Collins and Jerry Porras found that the stock of 18 long–lasting U.S. companies appreciated 15 times more than competing companies. They discovered that the key to this success was that these “visionary” companies had shared characteristics, including clear purpose and vision. 3M, American Express, Johnson and Johnson, and Proctor and Gamble were among the companies studied.

Team Work. Larson, C., and LaFasto, F. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1989.

This book describes many successful teams and highlights the eight characteristics of these teams. The eight characteristics include: a clear elevating goal; a results driven structure; competent team members; unified commitment; a collaborative climate; standards of excellence; external support and recognition; and principled leadership.