Examining Appearance Rates in Civil and Criminal Summons Court in New York City

DCJ is pleased to announce the release of a research brief examining factors related to court appearance rates for types of misconduct encompassed by New York City’s Criminal Justice Reform Act. The Criminal Justice Reform Act shifted enforcement of five types of misconduct (public consumption of alcohol, public urination, littering, unreasonable noise, and all New York City park offenses) from the criminal courts to civil courts. DCJ’s research found that court appearance rates were similar in criminal and civil courts, post-CJRA implementation. Further, DCJ found that while there was some variation in appearance rate by demographics, type of misconduct, and neighborhood characteristics, these factors explain very little of the variability in court appearance and further research is needed to fully understand what drives failures to appear in court. This research was made possible by funding from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and data from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) and the Office of Court Administration (OCA).