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NCJ Number: NCJ 201680     Find in a Library
Title: Performance Measures for the Trial Courts, Prosecution, and Public Defense
Author(s): George F. Cole
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 11
  Annotation: After tracing the court-reform movement for the purpose of identifying the assumptions that have guided trial court evaluation for the past half century, this paper examines the performance standards for general jurisdiction State trial courts that have been developed by the National Center for State Courts.
Abstract: Beginning in the 1970's, a series of federally funded studies addressed performance indicators for trial courts. To varying degrees, the studies focused on measures of process rather than results and on efficiency rather than effectiveness. Few offices of prosecution, indigent defense, or courts have developed and implemented performance assessments that evaluate the quality of the behavior of officials as they interact with citizens, whether they are defendants, victims, jurors, or the general public. In 1987 the National Center for State Courts initiated the Trial Court Performance Standard Project to develop measurable performance standards for the State trial courts of general jurisdiction. The Center created the Commission on Trial Court Performance Standards, which focused on what trial courts had actually accomplished and the development of tools that could assess outcomes according to acceptable criteria. Over 3 years the Commission and Center staff developed a set of 22 standards in 5 areas to measure trial court performance, created a comprehensive measurement system, field-tested the standards and the system, and gained acceptance of the new criteria by key judicial organizations and several States. The five performance areas selected are access to justice; expeditiousness and timeliness; equality, fairness, and integrity; independence and accountability; and public trust and confidence. This paper presents the individual performance standards that pertain to each of these areas. Overall, the standards reflect the concerns of those who use the courts rather than those who operate them; focus on performance and outcome rather than on structures, processes, and resources; examine the courts as organizations involved in tasks and processes that are linked and that affect one another; and rely on objective data rather than on reputation.
Main Term(s): Court management
Index Term(s): Performance requirements ; State courts ; National Center for State Courts (NCSC) ; Prosecution ; Public defenders
Sale Source: National Ctr for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
United States of America
Type: Test/Measurement
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Downloaded August 18, 2003.
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