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They’re Neither Communities nor Courts Candace McCoy City University of New York.

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Presentation on theme: "They’re Neither Communities nor Courts Candace McCoy City University of New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 They’re Neither Communities nor Courts Candace McCoy City University of New York

2 Four Assertions:  It’s not a court if you have to plead guilty to get there.  Fixing broken windows improves real estate but doesn’t lower crime rates.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and community is in the power of the purseholder.  Program impact should be evaluated in terms of overall social and organizational effects as well as treatment outcomes for the “clients” and economic development of target neighborhoods.

3 Due Process and Substantive Justice Concerns Types of crimes: disorder and “quality of life” (public drug use or drunkenness, prostitution, vandalism, nuisance behaviors) would not ordinarily have trials, anyway. Potential punishment: short jail time, maximum. Compare drug court experience Problem: Net-widening? Even: criminalization of behavior that should be handled better outside the criminal justice system? Policy: This is better than doing nothing. Principle: Coercion is necessary and even beneficial.

4 Broken Windows Improves Real Estate but Doesn’t Lower Crime Why Was Crime Down in New York? But wait! Crime declined in all American cities at that time. Broken Windows explains even lower rates in New York? Others explanations: incarceration policies, drug market stabilization, population age, and the McCoy Explanation That I Still Have to Get It Together to Publish: the AIDS epidemic. Why Was Crime Down in Times Square? The Community Court! Yes! –Displacement. Hustler Club opened on Tenth Avenue and Porn Shops moved to other neighborhoods and the internet. –That’s fine. Result: a fantastic tourist destination and economic engine for the city of New York.

5 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and community is in the eye of the purseholder. Manhattan is now a sterile Disneyland. Misplaced nostalgia for disorder and dirt? Community Court was funded entirely by private money (Shubert Foundation, NY Times) with economic interest in the real estate and business potential. Compare Red Hook community court. Court “clients” and community service sentences – an unpaid work force Who is “the community”?

6 Evaluate program impact in terms of political and organizational effects, not just treatment outcomes of the “clients.” Net-widening? Judicial independence? Unequal enforcement and disparate results? Inflated political/social claims?


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