skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 236850 Find in a Library
Title: What is a Community Court? How the Model Is Being Adapted Across the United States
Author(s): Julius Lang
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, DC 20531
Center for Court Innovation
New York, NY 10018
Grant Number: 2009-DC-BX-K018
Sale Source: Center for Court Innovation
520 Eighth Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following an overview of the core features of a community court, this paper poses and answers key questions about starting and operating a community court, followed by profiles of selected community courts.
Abstract: When it opened in 1995, New York City’s Midtown Community Court was an innovative departure from the traditional court system. By mid-2010, approximately 40 replications had been started across the Nation. Although these community courts have many differences, they have a set of common principles and practices. First, court staff received specialized training in dealing with issues before the court, such as drug addiction and mental illness, as well improved information on defendants, victims, and the community context of crime. Second, community courts focused on community engagement in helping the court to identify, prioritize, and solve local problems. Third, community courts established collaboration among justice practitioners, such as judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and court managers, as well as potential stakeholders beyond the courthouse, including social service providers, residents, victims groups, and schools. This improved interagency communication, builds trust between citizens and government, and fosters new responses to problems. Fourth, community courts provided “individualized justice,” which involves using evidence-based risk and needs assessment instruments in order to link offenders to individually tailored community-based services. Fifth, community courts emphasized accountability through community restitution mandates and compliance monitoring, with consequences attached to noncompliance. Fifth, the court monitored case outcomes by collecting and analyzing data that measure the effectiveness of court actions in achieving intended goals. The questions posed and answered about starting and operating community courts pertain to initial planning, the selection of communities to be served and the court location, how the courts should use alternative sanctions, and whether community courts create system change. 11 suggested readings and information sources
Main Term(s): Community Courts
Index Term(s): BJA Grant-related Documents; Community involvement; Court management; Court management training; Court personnel educational programs; Court procedures; Neighborhood
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.