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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91967 Find in a Library
Title: Why Courts Don't Work
Author(s): R Neely
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 271
Sponsoring Agency: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co
New York, NY 10020
Sale Source: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co
1221 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Court reform has generally not been effective due to a lack of consensus among interest groups impacted by the courts concerning the goals by which to measure court effectiveness.
Abstract: The court system does not operate consistently and effectively because of the pressures brought on the courts from various interest groups who do not wish to be inconvenienced or harmed by court action; e.g., segments of the public want more judges available to convict and sentence violent offenders, but the same judges who convict armed robbers can also convict teenage marijuana smokers who are the sons and daughters of those who are so adamant about the punitive treatment of 'street' criminals. Improving the court system is not just a matter of more money and more personnel. There must be a consensus about court goals and policies. Divisive political, social, and economic issues prevent the adoption of comprehensive court reform based on a public consensus. Governments, business, consumers, unions, tenants, and other interest groups are affected by court actions. Each group defines an effective court system by reference to its own interests. The issues considered by the courts may be divided into those about which most citizens agree and those which elicit controversy among various interest groups. A practical plan for court reform must involve a separation of these broad categories of issues, such that improvement can at least be made in those areas where there is agreement. A subject index is provided.
Index Term(s): Change management; Court reform
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