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NCJ Number: 63094 Find in a Library
Title: COURT STATISTICS - STRENGTHENING THE WEAKEST LINK (FROM CRIMINAL JUSTICE STATISTICS ASSOCIATION, INC PROCEEDINGS..., 1978 - SEE NCJ-63086)
Author(s): V E FLANGO
Corporate Author: Justice Research and Statistics Association
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Justice Research and Statistics Association
Washington, DC 20002
Type: Report (Annual/Periodic)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE NEED FOR NATIONWIDE COURT STATISTICS AND METHODS OF COMPILING STATE COURT CASELOAD STATISTICS NATIONWIDE ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE MAJOR OBJECTIVE OF THE NATIONAL COURT STATISTICS PROJECT IS TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A DATABASE ON COURT CASELOAD STATISTICS NATIONWIDE. NATIONWIDE COURT STATISTICS WOULD PERMIT THE COMPARING OF COURT ACTIVITY BETWEEN STATES AND REGIONS, PROVIDE DATA VALUABLE IN ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF POLICY ON COURT ACTIVITY, AND FACILITATE A MORE OBJECTIVE EVALUATION OF COURT ADMINISTRATION AND ORGANIZATION. THE ONLY TWO PRACTICAL WAYS FOR OBTAINING COURT CASELOAD STATISTICS ON A NATIONWIDE BASIS ARE A MAILED SURVEY OR THE COMPILATION OF COURT STATISTICS PRESENTED IN THE STATES' PUBLISHED ANNUAL REPORTS. MAILED SURVEYS HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF REQUESTING THE NEEDED INFORMATION IN A UNIFORM MANNER FROM EACH RESPONDENT. LIMITATIONS OF THIS METHOD ARE AN INABILITY TO DETERMINE THE ACCURACY OF THE DATA GIVEN BY THE RESPONDENT, THE POSSIBILITY OF LIMITED RESPONSE, AND VARIATIONS IN INTERPRETATIONS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE BY RESPONDENTS. RELIANCE UPON STATES' PUBLISHED ANNUAL JUDICIAL REPORTS IS MORE LIKELY THAN SURVEYS TO PROMOTE DATA ACCURACY, SINCE THE STATISTICS PROVIDED ARE INTENDED FOR FORMAL USE WITHIN THE STATE. A DISADVANTAGE OF PUBLISHED JUDICIAL REPORTS IS THE VARIATION BETWEEN STATES OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED; COMPARABILITY OF STATE PUBLISHED COURT STATISTICS IS ALSO LIMITED BY DIFFERING DEFINITIONS OF TERMS. THIS IS NO PROBLEM, HOWEVER, AS LONG AS TERM DEFINITIONS ARE PROVIDED. THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT STATISTICS PROJECT IS CURRENTLY PREPARING A DICTIONARY OF COURT TERMS TO MITIGATE THE PROBLEMS OF VARYING DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES USED BY THE STATES IN ANNUAL JUDICIAL REPORTS. WITH SOME MINOR REVISIONS IN THE FORMAT OF STATE ANNUAL JUDICIAL REPORTS COORDINATED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL, COURT STATISTICS COULD BE COMPILED INTO NATIONWIDE TOTALS. TABULAR DATA ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Court statistics; Data collections; National programs; State courts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63094

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