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NCJ Number: NCJ 158613     Find in a Library
Title: In New York City, a "Community Court" and a New Legal Culture
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): D C Anderson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 11
  Series: NIJ Program Focus
  Annotation: The recently initiated Midtown Community Court, which has jurisdiction over 350 blocks in Manhattan in New York City, follows a philosophy that differs from most traditional courts in its handling of misdemeanor arraignments and has a courtroom, a social services center, a community service program, and innovative computer support in one building.
Abstract: The court focuses on low-level offenses that can lower a community's morale and holds defendants immediately accountable for their crimes. The court also addresses issues underlying the problem that led to the offenses by providing social services such as drug treatment. The building is atypical in that it has clean, light-filled rooms that are secured with glass panels rather than steel bars. The court hears about 55-60 new cases per day. Offenders who receive a short community service sentence of 1 day's work are often arrested and arraigned and complete 6 hours of community service in less than 24 hours. The court aims to make accountability swift, because delays between conviction and community service assignments have allowed many to avoid their obligations. The court has a 75 percent completion rate for community service sanctions; court officials say that this rate exceeds that of other busy urban courts. About 16 percent of offenders sentenced to community or social services have voluntarily continued with such programs as drug treatment, HIV testing, and employment counseling after completing their sentences. The court is wired for a computer network and uses software that was custom designed by programmers at the Vera Institute of Justice. Figures, photographs, and case example
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Community service programs ; Alternative court procedures ; Court social services ; New York
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
United States of America
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: NIJ Program Focus
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