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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142173 Find in a Library
Journal: Trial  Volume:29  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1993)  Pages:18-21
Author(s): J M McWilliams
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The combination of increased demand for services and shrinking resources now threatens the availability and quality of justice in the United States, and actions must be taken to counter this trend.
Abstract: A study by the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Funding the Justice System included a survey of the status of the justice system in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. The central conclusion that emerged from the survey is that the justice system in many parts of the United States is on the verge of collapse due to both inadequate and unbalanced funding. The study also came to another significant conclusion: the components that compose the justice system form a single interrelated system, such that resources applied to or withheld from one component necessarily impact the other components. Given this status of justice systems throughout the country, all legal organizations and bar associations should give the highest priority to ensuring adequate and balanced funding for the entire justice system. One way to do this is through legislative advocacy, whereby State legislatures and county governments that authorize funding are made aware of the threats to the justice system due to inadequate and unbalanced funding. Another important measure is the use of justice system impact statements, whereby all policy and legislative decisions that directly impact one component of the justice system are examined to determine their indirect impact on all other components of the justice system. Public information campaigns must be used to inform the public about the threat posed by an inadequately funded justice system. Other measures are the use of funding formulas to help courts assess their needs based on known factors and litigation that targets specific inadequacies in the justice system due to inadequate funding.
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system analysis
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system coordination; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system policy
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