American cities are rethinking their approach to what are often called “nuisance” crimes...like drinking in public, graffiti, vandalism, prostitution, and shoplifting.
Sending people away for these violations doesn’t exactly improve the conditions within the communities where they take place.
Then there’s the flip-side - overburdened courts letting offenders go free, leaving local residents to doubt the fairness of the system.
But Hartford’s Community Court has found another way.
It requires offenders to perform public service in exchange for help with the problems that contributed to their crime.
They may work on street clean-up crews, help deliver food to the needy, or wash away the grafitti they left behind. Some people think it’s a model for the nation...a “fair” way to deal with petty crime.
So why isn’t there a community court in every town and city?
Join the conversation--Where We Live--right after this news.