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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77288 Find in a Library
Title: Waste, Delay and Ineffectiveness - An Economic Analysis of New York City's Criminal Justice System
Corporate Author: Citizens Action on Crime
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Citizens Action on Crime
New York, NY 10036
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This economic analysis of New York City's criminal justice system reveals a lack of coordination and effective case management among trial delays, and duplication of effort.
Abstract: The analysis is based on information from four sources: official data compiled by the Office of Court Administration, records of the New York City Police Department and the N.Y. State Division of Criminal Justice Services, and a time-cost study. The cost of processing most cases exceeds any conceivable benefits to the public, the victim, or the defendant. The time-cost study found that the criminal justice system actually expends more resources processing an arrest which results in dismissal than it does to process an arrest which results in imprisonment. The time-cost study also enumerated systemwide problems, such as excessive court appearances per case, lack of computerized records, and arraignment delays, among others. Judicial problems such as jury trial backlog, conflict between State and city offices of court administration, and the inability of judges to deal with cases quickly are detailed. Other problems relating to the district attorney, legal aid/defense attorneys, police, fingerprints, corrections, and probation are examined. Other forms of waste in the unnecessary use of grand juries and of adjournments are detailed. Proposed solutions include concentrating on major offenders encouraging district attorneys to exercise their prosecutorial discretion and attempt to end the wasteful use of grand jury hearings. Judges should prohibit excessive adjournments and coordinate prompt arraignments. Moreover, the city's bar associations must press for higher professionalism of judges, prosecutors, and public defenders. Finally, the news media should provide more public education on crime prevention and stimulate citizen action on necessary change. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Cost/Benefit Analysis; Court delays; Court management; Court reform; Economic analysis; Judges; New York; Trial procedures
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