Source: (1998) In Crime and Place: Plenary Papers of the 1997 Conference on Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation. National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Pp. 81-92. Downloaded 25 August 2004.

Our thoughts about community courts have been shaped by 4 years of experience operating a community court in New York City known as the Midtown Community Court. This paper mines our experiences in Midtown, using the court as a starting point for a broader discussion about the potential impact of neighborhood-based courts on the criminal justice system. After sketching the results of the Midtown experiment, we address some of the major questions that community courts have engendered to date. One of the most basic lessons of the Midtown experiment is that changing the way that courts operate has consequences. When courts engage in unfamiliar practices, they also raise new concerns —about due process, the adversarial system, and the independence of the judiciary. (excerpt)

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