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NCJ Number: 210634 Find in a Library
Title: Functioning of the Hatfield Criminal Court: A Police Perspective
Journal: ACTA Criminologica  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:2005  Pages:116-134
Author(s): L. Davis; K. Booyens
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 19
Document: HTML
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: This study examined the impact of the establishment of the Hatfield Court in a high crime area of South Africa on the daily functioning and morale of police officers serving the area.
Abstract: The Hatfield Court is an experimental pilot project aimed at addressing urban decline and elevated crime rates in two urban areas of South Africa by dealing with petty offenses occurring in the area. The current study was an exploration into an unknown area of research and, thus, qualitative methods were used, consisting of semi-structured interviews with 57 police officers drawn from a purposive sampling of officers working at the Brooklyn Police Station, which polices the area under analysis. Participants answered questions regarding their demographic information, length of employment with the police department, knowledge and feedback about the Hatfield Court, expectations about the court, opinions about diversion, the effectiveness of those working at the court, and their views on how it has impacted crime in Hatfield. Qualitative and statistical analyses of the interview data indicate that the court streamlined the criminal justice process by reducing prosecution and sentencing delays. A full 77 percent of officers had positive expectations of the court and were in favor of diversion from the formal criminal justice system. All of the officers interviewed believed that the Hatfield Court pilot project was effective enough to be extended and that similar community courts should continue to be established. Tables, bibliography
Main Term(s): Alternative court procedures
Index Term(s): Diversion programs; Police attitudes
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