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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91431 Find in a Library
Title: Fear and Chips
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:22  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1983)  Pages:10-15,50-53
Author(s): L P Polansky
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Urban courts began to use basic computer techniques in the early 1970's to support day-to-day operations. However, technological advances coupled with substantial reductions in hardware costs will require every court manager to consider using computers in many areas.
Abstract: Most early court computer systems involved batch-processed activities which often were costly and produced few usable reports. County data processing units and consulting firms often developed these early systems, and professionals with dual experience in computers and courts were not available until the 1980's. Today, computerization has many beneficial applications in the court system, such as indexing criminal and civil cases, judgments, and liens. Automated systems can prepare standardized and readable dockets; court calendars; and notices such as summons, reminders to pay fines, and court appearances. Another valuable tool available in most systems is the individual attorney workload or inventory report. Computer systems have excellent summarization capabilities of computer-based files to provide statistical reports, although courts must use caution in analyzing dispositions by judge, attorney, sentence, charge, race, sex, and combinations of these items. Other areas where courts can use computers effectively are jury management, particularly in compiling an eligible juror list, monitoring court-ordered support and alimony payments, and handling traffic violations. The trend for local courts is not toward large computers, but low-cost minicomputers, microcomputers, and personal computers. Flexibility and simplified programing, along with the distributed system approach, should facilitate computerization in courts of all sizes. The article includes nine references.
Index Term(s): Automated court systems; Court information systems; Court management; Technology transfer
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