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Developing an Evaluation Plan for Community Courts: Assessing the Hartford Community Court Model

NCJ Number
John S. Goldkamp; Doris Weiland; Cheryl Irons-Guynn
Date Published
July 2001
51 pages
This monograph assesses the Hartford Community Court model for developing an evaluation plan for community courts.
The Midtown Community Court experiment in Manhattan in 1993 was a catalyst for innovation and encouraged the diffusion of the community court model to other jurisdictions with different settings and challenges. The Hartford Community Court opened in 1998 and is a test of the transferability of the community court model. This monograph describes Hartford's adaptations of the model and outlines an evaluation plan for assessing its progress and impact. The nine critical dimensions upon which courts vary - and around which evaluation of aspects of community courts can be organized - are: target problems; target locations; target populations; court processing focus and adaptations; identifying, screening, and enrolling participants; dispositional options and the structure and content of services; community involvement; productivity (services delivered and impact per resource); and extent of system-wide support and participation. The report describes the Hartford Community Court as an important adaptation of the original Midtown prototype with distinct features, particularly its linkage with 17 distinct neighborhoods. The evaluation plan outlined in this paper was designed as a model for evaluating community court programs nationwide. Figure, tables, notes, resources