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MisdemeanorlandCriminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing$
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Issa Kohler-Hausmann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196114

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196114.001.0001

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Managerial Justice

Managerial Justice

(p.60) 2 Managerial Justice

Issa Kohler-Hausmann

Princeton University Press

This chapter starts by reviewing what we might expect to happen in response to a flood of cases. Given the received wisdom that lower criminal courts deliver “assembly-line justice,” it would be logical to assume that the increase of misdemeanor cases would result in lots of convictions and jail sentences. The chapter presents descriptive data that show what happened instead: a decline in the rate of criminal conviction and an increase in the rate of dismissal. The chapter proposes that a good way to make sense of the disposition trends of the past twenty-five years is to understand that misdemeanor justice in New York City has largely abandoned the adjudicative model of criminal law administration. Instead, it hews more closely to the “managerial model,” where the criminal process is deployed to figure out the rule-abiding propensities of people and to calibrate formal regulation accordingly.

Keywords:   managerial justice, managerial model, misdemeanor justice, misdemeanor cases, misdemeanor cases, disposition trends, criminal law administration

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