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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77386 Find in a Library
Title: Citizen Participation in the Courts - A Study of Three Local Advisory Boards (From Misdemeanor Courts - Policy Concerns and Research Perspectives, P 245-270, 1980, James J Alfini, ed. - See NCJ-77379)
Author(s): J J Alfini
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The experiences of three citizen advisory boards in two misdemeanor courts are described and analyzed.
Abstract: The analysis considers the performance of the Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) to Pierce County District Court Number One (Tacoma, Wash.,) over a 2-year period beginning with its establishment in November, 1977; the performance of the advisory board to the Travis County Courts-At-Law (Austin, Tex.,) over 1 year beginning with its establishment in November, 1978; and the experiences of the Coordinating Council of the Travis Courts-At-Law. The purpose of the CAB to Pierce County Court Number One was to establish communication between the public and the court, in order to give the public a more realistic picture of the criminal justice system and to provide the court with an informed and balanced impression of what the public finds unjust about the system. The advisory board to the Travis County Courts-At-Law was established as part of a community resources program with the specific purpose of assisting the court in implementing a community service restitution project; and the coordinating council to the Travis County Courts-At-Law Number Two was established by the chief judge to assist her in implementing and maintaining certain programs. Overall, the three boards were encouraged and provided with incentives only as long as their goals coincided with the interests of the sponsoring officials and institutions. Members of all three groups indicated that, in varying degrees, they felt 'used' and expressed some frustration over not knowing enough about the court and the specific programs to allow them to be included in key policy decisions pertaining to program development and implementation. Tables, a note, and 11 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Citizen advisory committees; Court relations; Misdemeanor; Program evaluation; Texas; Washington
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