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NCJ Number: NCJ 236850     Find in a Library
Title: What is a Community Court? How the Model Is Being Adapted Across the United States
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Julius Lang
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 20
  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): Community involvement ; Court management ; Court personnel educational programs ; Court procedures ; Court management training ; BJA grant-related documents ; Neighborhood
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
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
Type: Program/Project Description
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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