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Evaluation of the Midtown Community Court in New York City, 1992-1994 (ICPSR 2311) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

In October 1993, the Midtown Community Court opened as a three-year demonstration project designed to forge links with the community in developing a problem-solving approach to quality-of-life offenses. The problems that this community-based courthouse sought to address were specific to the court's midtown New York City location: high concentration of quality-of-life crimes, broad community dissatisfaction with court outcomes, visible signs of disorder, and clusters of persistent high-rate offenders with serious problems, including addiction and homelessness. This study was conducted to evaluate how well the new court was able to dispense justice locally and whether the establishment of the Midtown Community Court made a difference in misdemeanor case processing. Data were collected at two time periods for a comparative analysis. First, a baseline dataset (Part 1, Baseline Data) was constructed from administrative records, consisting of a ten-percent random sample of all nonfelony arraignments in Manhattan during the 12 months prior to the opening of the Midtown Community Court. Second, comparable administrative data (Part 2, Comparison Data) were collected from all cases arraigned at the Midtown Court during its first 12 months of operation, as well as from a random sample of all downtown nonfelony arraignments held during this same time period. Both files contain variables on precinct of arrest, arraignment type, charges, bonds, dispositions, sentences, total number of court appearances, and total number of warrants issued, as well as prior felony and misdemeanor convictions. Demographic variables include age, sex, and race of offender.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Baseline Data - Download All Files (3.4 MB)
DS2:  Comparison Data - Download All Files (12.1 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Rottman, David, Brian Ostrom, Michele Sviridoff, and Richard Curtis. Evaluation of the Midtown Community Court in New York City, 1992-1994. ICPSR02311-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02311.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-0082)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   addiction, case processing, communities, courts, homelessness, misdemeanor offenses, offenders, quality of life

Geographic Coverage:   New York (state), New York City, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992--1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1993--1994

Unit of Observation:   Court cases (with one defendant per case).

Universe:   All nonfelony arraignments in Manhattan from October 1992 to September 1994.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   In October 1993, the Midtown Community Court opened as a three-year demonstration project designed to forge links with the community in developing a problem-solving approach to quality-of-life offenses. The decision to establish the Midtown Community Court grew out of a belief that the traditional court response to low-level offenses was neither constructive nor meaningful to victims, defendants, or the community. The problems that this community-based courthouse sought to address were specific to the court's midtown New York City location: high concentration of quality-of-life crimes, broad community dissatisfaction with court outcomes, visible signs of disorder, and clusters of persistent high-rate offenders with serious problems, including addiction and homelessness. This study was conducted to evaluate how well the new court was able to dispense justice locally and whether the establishment of the Midtown Community Court made a difference in misdemeanor case processing.

Study Design:   This study was designed to compare case processing and case outcomes between the Midtown Community Court and the downtown court in light of six key decision points: (1) whether defendants given a Desk Appearance Ticket showed up as scheduled, (2) whether the case was disposed at arraignment or continued, (3) whether disposition was through dismissal, adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, or conviction, (4) whether the sentence involved an alternative sanction, traditional sentence, or no sanction, (5) whether jail sentences were imposed, and (6) whether sentenced offenders complied with alternative sanctions. Data were collected at two time periods for a comparative analysis. First, a baseline dataset (Part 1, Baseline Data) was constructed from administrative records, consisting of a ten-percent random sample of all nonfelony arraignments in Manhattan during the 12 months prior to the opening of the Midtown Community Court. Second, comparable administrative data (Part 2, Comparison Data) were collected from all cases arraigned at the Midtown Court during its first 12 months of operation, as well as from a random sample of all downtown nonfelony arraignments held during this same time period.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

The Criminal Justice Agency, New York City and the Department of Criminal Justice Service

Description of Variables:   Both files contain variables on precinct of arrest, arraignment type, charges, bonds, dispositions, sentences, total number of court appearances, and total number of warrants issued, as well as prior felony and misdemeanor convictions. Demographic variables include age, sex, and race of offender.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB2311.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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