Study visit to US community courts in Minneapolis and New York

Between April 23 and May 4 representatives of the Foundation took part in a study visit to several community courts in the USA. The visit was funded by the Polish National Council for Research and Development, as part of the project called “Pilot implementation of the community court model in Poland” (IS-1/039/NCBR/2014). The project is aimed at investigating the possibility of translating some features of the community court model into the Polish legal and social context. During the visit, participants had a chance to observe two problem-solving courts in Minneapolis (Hennepin County Court): the DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Court and the Co-Parent Court. In New York City, we were able to visit Midtown Community Court as well as the Red Hook Community Justice Center. Both projects were initiated and are co-operated by the Center for Court Innovation, a think-tank that made the visit both possible and fruitful. We also met the team working on a new project, Brownsville Community Justice Center, which was especially interesting, as provided insight into the practical challenges of planning and implementation at an earlier stage.
While full implementation of the US community court model would certainly prove difficult under the Polish legal system, closer collaboration between various agencies (including the one-shop idea), use of assessment tools, more individualized and meaningful sanctioning, and focus on community needs and preferences are certainly worth implementing – in Poland as elsewhere.

Meeting in Red Hook Community Justice Center, left-2-right Kamila Popiela & Stanisław Burdziej Ph.D. (Court Watch Poland Foundation), judge Alex Calabrese, Bartosz Pilitowski (President of Board of the Foundation), Radosław Sojak Ph.D. (University of Nicolaus Copernicus) and judge Piotr Gensikowski Ph.D.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed