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Community Court Grows in Brooklyn: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2013
286 pages
This document contains the final report of the evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center (RHCJC) is located in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The Center was established as a community court to handle misdemeanor crimes and juvenile delinquency cases, offering defendants treatment options for their addictions as opposed to jail time, with the primary goal of reducing the revolving door of the traditional criminal justice system. This report presents the results of an evaluation of the RHCJC. The evaluation looked at whether the RHCJC had the following main features that constitute a community court - individualized justice, expanded sentencing options, varying mandate length, offender accountability, community engagement, and community impacts. The evaluation found that 1) the RHCJC for the most part implemented the original program and operated in a manner consistent with the plan; 2) offenders processes through the Center were more likely to receive meaningful sanctions compared to offenders processed through traditional courts; 3) the rate of rearrest within 2 years was reduced by 10 percent compared to the rearrest rate for offenders processed through traditional courts; 4) the level of crime in the RHCJC catchment area dropped significantly after the Center opened and it has continuously remained at low levels; 5) the Center achieves the reductions in recidivism and arrest rates in a manner that is cost-efficient to taxpayers; and 6) the Center's success at reducing recidivism and crime rates is due primarily to its ability to project its legitimacy to offenders and the local community rather than from strategies of deterrence or intervention. Figures, tables, appendixes, and references

Date Published: November 1, 2013