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NCJ Number: 43263 Find in a Library
Title: ECONOMIC MODELING OF COURT SERVICES, WORK LOADS, AND PRODUCTIVITY (FROM MODELING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 1977 BY S S NAGEL-SEE NCJ-43252)
Author(s): R W GILLESPIE
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: USE OF CASE WEIGHTS RATHER THAN SIMPLE DISPOSITION OF CASES TO STUDY COURT WORKLOAD PATTERNS RESULTS IN MORE ACCURATE ANALYSIS; CASE-WEIGHTED STUDIES SHOW THAT MANY POPULAR ASSUMPTIONS HAVE MARGINAL VALIDITY.
Abstract: RATIONAL PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT IN A COURT SYSTEM REQUIRE MEANINGFUL SUMMARY MEASURES OF RESOURCE INPUT AND OUTPUT. RAW DATA ON NUMBER OF CASES PROCESSED ARE OF LIMITED USEFULNESS BECAUSE THIS DISREGARDS THE VARYING AMOUNTS OF BOTH JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATIVE TIME REQUIRED FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF CASES. IN A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT STUDY, RAW CASE DATA INDICATED A 37 PERCENT INCREASE IN FILINGS 1968 TO 1974, BUT CASE-WEIGHTED DATA SHOWED THE INCREASE IN WORKLOAD WAS ACTUALLY 54 PERCENT. THIS STUDY ALSO SHOWED THAT DIFFERENCES IN PRODUCTIVITY WERE AS MUCH A FUNCTION OF DEMAND AS OF EFFICIENCY OF THE JUDGES, THAT FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS EXPERIENCE ECONOMIES OF SCALE UNTIL THEY REACH 16-20 JUDGES AND THEN THEY EXPERIENCE DISECONOMIES OF SCALE, AND THAT USE OF TRIALS ACTUALLY SPEEDS UP THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS. IT IS THEORIZED THAT THE THREAT OF A SPEEDY TRIAL ENCOURAGES DEFENDANTS OR PROSECUTORS WITH A WEAK CASE TO REACH ALTERNATIVE DISPOSITIONS. THE GREATEST WORKLOAD OF THESE COURTS IS CIVIL CASES; HERE SPEEDY TRIALS DISCOURAGE CONTENDING LITIGANTS WITH MARGINAL CASES. WEIGHTED CASELOAD ANALYSIS ALSO SHOWED THAT MARIJUANA AND OTHER NARCOTICS CASES CONSUMED ONLY 3 PERCENT OF JUDICIAL TIME. THEREFORE, DECRIMINALIZATION WOULD HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON TOTAL CASE LOAD. SELECTIVE SERVICE CASES ALSO OCCUPY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF TIME AND REMOVAL OF CASES WOULD NOT INCREASE TIME AVAILABLE FOR OTHER WORK. AS MORE AND MORE STATES MOVE TO UNIFIED COURT SYSTEMS, WEIGHT CASE STUDIES SHOULD BE CONDUCTED TO ALLOCATED RESOURCES, DETERMINE OPTIMUM SIZE OF COURTS, AND ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR NEW JUDICIAL RESOURCES.
Index Term(s): Caseloads; Court case flow models; Models; Systems analysis
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