Criminal justice failure has been well-documented. The traditional response to this failure has been to seek out alternatives. However, by their very nature, alternatives are usually conceived and positioned in relation to the failed criminal justice interventions they seek to replace.
In this paper we focus on an initiative, Justice Matters, which seeks to provide a model, not for developing alternatives to criminal justice failure, but instead the creation of transformative solutions to a range of social problems. To illustrate the potential of this approach we explore two examples: drugs and violence against women.
Central to our argument is that for nearly all social problems, solutions already exist. But they exist beyond the boundaries of criminal justice and its experts. By drawing on appropriate knowledge – health for drugs; and feminism for gendered violence; – aligned to a political commitment to social justice, we argue it is possible to develop transformative solutions which can provide the foundation for a society that lies beyond criminal justice.