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Centre Court

A court for vandals and anti-social behaviour is coming to Dublin

The scheme has worked in New York.

A PILOT SCHEME to establish a community court in Dublin city is progressing and may be in place after the summer.

The scheme was recommended by the Oireachtas Justice Committee and will mimic the successful Midtown Community Court in New York, which handles quality-of-life cases. These include graffiti, anti-social behaviour and petty crimes.

The court has succeeded in reducing incarceration rates in New York and sees offenders punished in ways that support the community. These include caring for trees, cleaning graffiti or working within community groups.

Chairman of the Oireachtas Justice Committee David Stanton says that the plan, which has been rolled out to 30 more US cities, as well as to Canada and the UK, could work in the capital.

The aim of Community Courts is to deal swiftly with minor crimes such as disorderly conduct, anti-social behaviour, petty theft and minor criminal damage. The vast majority of offenders receive community service orders which are carried out in the community, but some offenders can end up in prison.

“The success of the Community Court system is that it reduces numbers incarcerated, reduces crime in the area in which the court is based and also reduces reoffending, all of which benefit not just the offenders but the wider community. I look forward to seeing the Minister’s proposals in the coming months.”

Read: It worked for NYC but could ‘community courts’ tackle small-time crime in Dublin?

Read: Should Dublin set up community courts?

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