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NCJ Number: NCJ 232968     Find in a Library
Title: Principles of Community Justice: A Guide for Community Court Planners
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Greg Berman
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: 2010
Page Count: 20
  Annotation: Using New York City’s community courts as a foundation, along with other successful examples from across the Nation, this guide presents common principles that govern community courts.
Abstract: New York City’s Midtown Community Court was envisioned by a small group of criminal justice planners who had the novel idea that a neighborhood-based court that would handle only minor offenses could do a better job of showing the local community that the justice system is responsive to local concerns. The location, architecture, and technology that characterized the Midtown Community Court were all designed to address the problem of low-level street crime on the West Side of Manhattan. The court has largely achieved its primary goal, which is to combine punishment and help in order to stem the chronic offending that was demoralizing local residents, businesses, and tourists. Although subsequent community courts have each been unique in their efforts to address specific community issues, there are six common principles that characterize the problem solving justice associated with community courts. These common principles are enhanced information, community engagement, collaboration, individualized justice, accountability, and outcomes. The features and implementation of each of these principles is addressed in this guide. This is followed by advice on how to address various obstacles likely to be confronted in the establishment of a community court. These include defining roles, reluctance to look at neighborhood-specific crime problems as a court concern, legal and professional concerns, tension between social work and criminal justice, limited resources, and tailoring technology to court objectives. The guide concludes with an overview of strategies that have proven successful in building community courts. They pertain to outreach, political and financial support, alternative sanctions, staffing, and analysis of quality-of-life issues in the community. 5 suggestions for further reading
Main Term(s): Community Courts
Index Term(s): Community involvement ; Street crimes ; Misdemeanor courts ; BJA grant-related documents ; New York
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: 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: Technical Assistance ; Training
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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