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

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
David Rottman, National Center for State Courts; Brian Ostrom, National Center for State Courts; Michele Sviridoff, National Center for State Courts; Richard Curtis, National Center for State Courts

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02311.v1

Version V1

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.

Rottman, David, Ostrom, Brian, Sviridoff, Michele, and Curtis, Richard. Evaluation of the Midtown Community Court in New York City, 1992-1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02311.v1

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

1992 -- 1994

1993 -- 1994

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.

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.

Random sampling.

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

Court cases (with one defendant per case).

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

administrative records data

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.

Not applicable.

None.

2000-04-18

2006-03-30

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.

2000-04-18 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.

Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.