This research bulletin reviews a study that employed to different data sources to examine delays in juvenile case processing.
This research bulletin from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reviews a study that employed two different data sources to examine delays in juvenile case processing. Using data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive, the researchers found that the median processing times for juvenile cases increased by 26 percent from 1985 to 1994 but decreased by 10 percent for the period 1995 to 2004, and that total caseloads increased 57 percent for the period 1985 to 1994 but decreased by 8 percent for the period 1995 to 2004. For both time periods, the study found that juvenile case processing times were related to jurisdiction size, and that longer processing times were associated with formally charged cases that were not adjudicated. For the second data source, the researchers examined the case management strategies employed by three courts in the Midwest: Hamilton County, OH; Kent County, MI; and Peoria County, IL. While all three jurisdictions employed different strategies, the research found two common themes: successfully addressing court delays requires courtroom leadership that is committed to case management, and routine and shared communication is vital for any successful case management system. The findings from this study suggest that processing times for juvenile cases are determined by a number of factors, and that the implementation of successful case management systems can improve processing times for these cases. 2 tables and 2 endnotes
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