Analysis of the Night and Weekend Arraignment Parts in the Bronx and Queens Criminal Courts.

by John B. Jennings

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The New York City Criminal Court began operating night and weekend arraignment courts ("parts") in its Bronx and Queens branches in 1971. Prior to this time, defendants arrested in all five boroughs of the City had to be transported to Manhattan or Brooklyn for arraignment during other than daytime hours. In addition to transportation costs, this system overloaded the Manhattan and Brooklyn courts, made it all but impossible to dispose of cases immediately at arraignment, thereby adding to the court backlog, and caused duplicated effort, and less effective defense representation. This report analyzes the costs and benefits of the new parts, demonstrating that the added annual cost of about $1.2 million is offset by monetary savings resulting from reduced burdens on subsequent stages of court processing, smaller numbers of defendants detained in jail, and reduced transportation costs. In addition, the quality of judicial decisions and of defense representation was improved. 83 pp.

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