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NCJ Number: NCJ 196397   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Dispensing Justice Locally: The Impact, Costs and Benefits of The Midtown Community Court
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Michele Sviridoff ; David B. Rottman ; Rob Weidner ; Fred Cheesman ; Richard Curtis ; Randall Hansen ; Brian J. Ostrom
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 364
  Annotation: This document evaluates the Midtown Community Court demonstration project in New York City.
Abstract: The purpose of the project was to design a community-based courthouse that would provide effective and accessible justice for quality-of-life crimes. These crimes include prostitution, shoplifting, minor drug possession, turnstile jumping, unlicensed vending, and disorderly conduct and often arise in the Times Square area and the surrounding residential neighborhoods of Clinton and Chelsea. Research was conducted in a multi-method project, designed to examine the implementation, effects, costs, and benefits of the court. The first phase of research examined the effects of the project over its first 18 months; the second reviewed overall impacts and ways for assessing costs and benefits of the project. Project planners expected impacts in four primary areas: case outcomes, compliance with intermediate sanctions, community conditions, and community attitudes. The analysis of preliminary impacts showed that, in its first 18 months, the court had substantial effects in all four areas. Results in the second phase of the research revealed that early impacts on arrest-to-arraignment time, case outcomes, and community service compliance rates were sustained over 3 years. By the third year, the court produced a higher rate of dispositions at arraignment for comparable cases than the Downtown court. There was an increase in intermediate sanctions in sentencing and marked reductions in the frequency of “time served” sentences and reductions in the frequency of jail for some charges. Aggregate community service compliance was markedly higher than Downtown. There were substantial reductions in concentrations of prostitution and unlicensed vending in Midtown early in the project. Several factors converged to produce a general improvement in neighborhood conditions, such as increased police enforcement and general economic development. There was broad consensus among the community residents that the primary quality-of-life problems of the Midtown area, particularly prostitution, had been dealt with successfully. 20 figures, 24 tables, 8 appendixes, 83 references
Main Term(s): Model programs ; Neighborhood justice centers
Index Term(s): Pilot cities ; Community conflict ; Effectiveness ; Program design ; Local criminal justice systems ; Access to courts ; New York
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 96-IJ-CX-0019
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Center for Court Innovation
520 Eighth Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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