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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69886 Find in a Library
Title: Court Administration in Rural Areas
Journal: Public Administration Review  Volume:40  Dated:(January/February 1980)  Pages:34-39
Author(s): T J Fetter; E K Stott
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Improvement of the quality of justice in rural areas should occur through interdependent cooperative programs than encourage State and local court improvement.
Abstract: Rural and urban court systems should be frequently reassessed to identify emerging problems and needs and to respond to trends and changes. Judicial policymakers and court administrators should also be aware of the effect of the court's environment (as determined by the location and the density of the surrounding population) on court operation and management policy. Studies indicate that problems facing rural courts are increasing and are complex. These include rapidly increasing case loads, too much delay, uneven workloads among judges, lack of coordination in scheduling, inefficient use of staff time, and lack of fiscal resources. Rural and urban communities are closely interrelated, and efforts should be directed at identifying and improving common linkages between communities and judicial service delivery policies and programs. Programs designed to meet the problems of urban areas should not totally ignore those of rural areas. Rural courts can also benefit from the availability of central administrative services in State judicial systems. Strategies for providing improved judicial services to rural areas should be based on institutional precepts that will strengthen existing communities and their traditions, rather than turning them into dependent components of larger regions. The focus of rural court improvement should be on the communities themselves, and local courts should have policymaking and operational authority. Goals of rural courts must be determined and resources made available for selected programs such as expanded staff support, continuing education, and improved office equipment. An active program for rural courts can have benefits for all courts, as projects developed in rural areas can be applied in urban courts. Notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Court management; Court reform; Court structure; Court system; Rural area studies; Rural urban comparisons
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