|This paper presents the results of a short-term evaluation of the new Community Court in Hennepin County, Minnesota, as well as the experimental design for the long-term evaluation. Over the short-term, we evaluated Community Court in four distinct ways. First, we measured defendant compliance with their primary sanction of the "Sentencing to Service" program, in which defendants are assigned to work crews that complete community beautification projects (e.g., removing graffiti, collecting trash, painting fire hydrants). Community Court defendants are assigned to work crews in the community where they committed their offenses, as part of a restorative justice approach to sentencing. Second, we measured community members' perceptions of crime in their neighborhoods and level of satisfaction with the Community Court project, via a telephone survey to a random sample of residents in our catchment area. Third, we measured the immediacy of the court process, to evaluate whether Community Court has reduced the length of time between offense and disposition. Finally, we contracted with an outside agency to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of Community Court. The paper will conclude by describing the experimental design in place for the long-term evaluation of Hennepin County's Community Court.
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