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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77384 Find in a Library
Title: Case Study of a Management Innovation in a Misdemeanor Court (From Misdemeanor Court - Policy Concerns and Research Perspectives, P 160-195, 1980, James J Alfini, ed. - See NCJ-77379)
Author(s): R N Doan
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 36
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes the experiences of a Minnesota misdemeanor court in the implementation of new caseflow management techniques.
Abstract: The analysis focuses on whether (1) the management information system altered the relationships or roles of participants, (2) the management information system affected case processing procedures, and (3) the management information system affected case processing outcomes (e.g., disposition mode, sentence, and case processing time). The management information system adopted by the court was premised on the goal of positive court control of the caseflow. The clerk agreed that a necessary prerequisite to such control was the successful installation of a fully operational recordkeeping system which supplied management information on which case management policies could be developed. The development of a chronologically filed case control card formed the crux of the system. The index card identified the case and included information on all next-action-dates for each case, type of disposition, sentence imposed, and age of the case at disposition. The card was designed to be retrieved from the pending file according to the age of the case on the date in question. One of the most significant changes precipitated by the new system was the manner of interaction between system participants. Judges became more actively involved in the management of the caseload, so that the balance of decisionmaking discretion shifted toward the court at the expense of the prosecutors and defense attorneys, who began to feel the increased pressure exerted by the court to dispose of cases more quickly. Further, the average age of cases at disposition has shown a noticeable decline. The relatively short postimplementation period at the time of this study precluded an analysis of a more extended cause-and-effect continuum. Overall, the study tends to show that the consequences of innovation will differ depending upon the environment in which it is implemented. The anticipated and unanticipated consequences of the innovation should be evaluated in the court environment over the long term. Tabular data and four references are provided.
Index Term(s): Change management; Court case flow management; Evaluation; Management Information Systems; Minnesota; Misdemeanor; Systems analysis
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