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NCJ Number: 51470 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN COOK COUNTY (IL) - IS MORE ALWAYS BETTER?
Author(s): P F NARDULLI
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: USING COMPARATIVE STATISTICS, THE EFFECTS OF INCREASED JUDICIAL RESOURCES IN COOK COUNTY ON THE CONVICTION RATE, DISMISSAL RATE, AND AVERAGE DISPOSITION TIME PER CASE ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE RECENTLY AMENDED THE CIRCUIT JUDGES ACT BY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF CIRCUIT JUDGES IN THE STATE BY ONE-THIRD, WITH COOK COUNTY GETTING AN ADDITIONAL 30 CIRCUIT JUDGES. WHILE IT IS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THIS ACTION REFLECTS TRADITIONAL THOUGHT ON EFFECTING CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, IT IS NOTED THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERSONNEL RESOURCES AND THE OUTPUTS OF CRIMINAL COURTS HAS NEVER BEEN EXAMINED. THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE CONVICTION RATE, THE DISMISSAL RATE, AND THE AVERAGE TIME TO DISPOSE OF EACH CASE AS MEASURES OF CRIMINAL COURT OUTPUTS BY EXAMINING DATA FROM THE ILLINOIS CRIME SURVEY CONDUCTED IN 1926 AND A 1972 STUDY BY JACOB AND EISENSTEIN. IN 1926 THERE WERE ONLY 7 JUDGES IN THE COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT, WHILE IN 1972, 15 TRIAL JUDGES STAFFED THE CRIMINAL DIVISION OF THE CIRCUIT COURT; HOWEVER, THE NUMBER OF DEFENDANTS PROCESSED BY THE COURT IN 1972 WAS LESS THAN THAT HANDLED BY THE COURT IN 1926 (5,253 IN 1926 AND 4,281 IN 1972). ALSO, DESPITE THE LIGHTENED WORKLOAD FROM 1926 TO 1972, THE MEDIAN NUMBER OF DAYS BETWEEN GRAND JURY INDICTMENT AND THE ULTIMATE DISPOSITION OF A CASE ROSE FROM 75 DAYS IN 1926 TO 151 DAYS IN 1972. HOWEVER THE PROPORTION OF CASES DISMISSED BETWEEN 1926 AND 1972 DECLINED BY ABOUT 15 PERCENT, AND THE PROPORTION OF CASES WITH CONVICTIONS INCREASED BY ABOUT 14 PERCENT. CAUTION IS URGED IN INTERPRETING THESE DISMISSAL AND CONVICTION STATISTICS BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN THE DISPOSITIONAL PROCESS SINCE 1926, NOTABLY IN THE ROLE PERFORMED BY PRELIMINARY HEARING COURTS. THESE CHANGES ARE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED. IT IS BELIEVED THE DATA HERE PRESENTED CAST SOME DOUBT UPON THE PRESUMPTION THAT INCREASED RESOURCES WILL INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE COURT SYSTEM. IT IS ADVISED THAT A MORE FRUITFUL AREA FOR REFORM WOULD BE THE PATTERNS OF INTERACTION BETWEEN THE JUDGE, PROSECUTOR, AND DEFENSE COUNSEL. THE DATA ANALYZED ARE INCLUDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Court case flow management; Court personnel; Illinois; Judges; Reform; Statistical analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51470

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