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Community Courts: An Evolving Model

NCJ Number
Eric Lee
Date Published
October 2000
29 pages
Publication Series
This monograph examines the community court movement and the role of the community court in a community’s daily life.
The document’s overview examines the following issues: how to plan a community court; which community should be served and where the court should be located; how the court should link offenders to social services; whether punishment and help can be combined; the kinds of cases appropriate for community courts; the role of the community court; and whether community courts are creating system change. It then profiles community courts in 10 different cities across the United States. Community court planners throughout the country are motivated by different concerns: (1) the community court as a natural outgrowth of a neighborhood prosecutor program; (2) using community prosecution and community courts to serve an entire city; (3) the community court concept as a way to focus efforts in a neighborhood with chronic public safety concerns; and (4) the community court as part of greater community involvement in setting law enforcement priorities. The paper concludes that community courts are most effective when responding to the unique concerns of individual communities. Resources

Date Published: October 1, 2000