This study examines the effectiveness of the Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) in tackling multiple problems that contribute to crime, public safety, and quality of life in the local community. This report has chapters covering: the theoretical foundations and study context; evaluation data and methods; planning RHCJC; organizational structure and staffing; community and youth programs—Housing Court and the Housing Resource Center, youth programs, community programs and public outreach, walk-in services, and resident and offender population perceptions of RHCJC; criminal court processing and sanctioning practices at Red Hook—multi-jurisdictional courtroom, arraignments, criminal case outcomes, summons cases, and offender perceptions of procedural justice; drug treatment cases; Family Court; impact on recidivism and arrests; cost efficiency analysis; and conclusions and observations--principle findings, lessons for policy and practice, implementing community court principles in centralized misdemeanor courts, and priorities for future research on community courts. Appendixes include: Propensity Score Modeling, Criminal Court; Sampling and Propensity Score Matching, Family Court; Impact of Drug Treatment on Two-Year Re-arrests for Specific Charge Types; Change Point Analysis of Red Hook Arrest Series; and Ethnographic Report—The Red Hook Community Justice Center. “This comprehensive evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center demonstrates that a community court can reduce recidivism and achieve other key criminal justice objectives by improving upon the traditional model for processing misdemeanor offenses. Moreover, the evaluation demonstrates that those improvements can be cost-effective from the viewpoint of the taxpayer. These are impressive findings” (p. 189).
This report should be required reading for anyone interested in or developing a domestic violence court. Eleven chapters follow an executive summary: introduction; review of relevant research; research design; domestic violence court goals; history, structure, and staffing; case processing laws and policies; victim safety and services; offender assessments and program mandates; supervision and court responses to noncompliance; additional insights from qualitative analysis; and conclusion and implications. Some major findings include: increasing victim safety is rated “extremely important” by the majority of the domestic violence courts; the majority of courts had dedicated victim advocates; the majority of courts did not assess offenders; and 62% of the courts offered probation supervision to offenders. A "National Compendium of Domestic Violence Courts" is also included.
This study documented the positive impact of drug courts in New York on re-arrest and re-conviction both. If you are looking for ways to implement an effective drug court program or are looking to improve one you already have then you will find some helpful strategies to guide your efforts. This report contains eight chapter following an executive summary: introduction; research design and methodology; profile of drug court participant characteristics; profile of drug court policy characteristics and constructs; the impact of New York State adult drug courts; differential effects based on target population; differential effects based in drug court policies and practices; and conclusions. A few of the key elements in effective drug courts are: be sure to serve a higher-risk population; maximize legal leverage; impose certain sanctions for noncompliance; and use cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based practices (EBPs).
“In April 2009, New York State passed Rockefeller Drug Law Reform. The law eliminated mandatory prison sentences for most felony drug offenders. In addition, through a procedure defined as judicial diversion, the law provided judges with discretion to link an expanded array of felony-level drug and property offenders to treatment, primarily through specialized drug courts” (p. 1). This study determined the impact of judicial diversion on drug treatment participation and related cost savings. Four chapters follow an executive summary: introduction—a brief history of the Rockefeller Drug Law Reform, and drug courts and other court-ordered treatment options in New York; impact on treatment enrollment; impact on sentencing outcomes; and impact on costs and savings. Court-ordered treatment enrollment increased by 77% with a cost savings of $5,564 per diverted offender.
The effectiveness of domestic violence courts to positively impact court processing, case resolutions, and recidivism is examined. If you are planning to implement a domestic violence court in your jurisdiction or are looking for ways to improve it, then you should read this report. This study found that court policies “varied widely across several domains, including specific accountability measures (i.e., use of various sanctions for noncompliance), victim safety and services (e.g., use of protection orders, linkages to victim advocates, and courthouse safety measures), use of offender assessment tools, orders to batterer programs, and orders to other types of programs (e.g., substance abuse or mental health treatment)” (p. v). Findings also show that among convicted offenders domestic violence courts significantly reduce the total number of re-arrests for any charge and for additional domestic violence charges.