U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Differentiated Case Management: Program Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1993
17 pages
This manual provides guidance for the implementation of differentiated court case management (DCM), which is a technique courts can use to tailor the case-management process to the requirements of individual cases.
The DCM concept is premised on the assumption that all cases are not alike and, therefore, should not be subject to the same processing events and timetables. This implies that some cases can, and should, proceed through the court system at a faster pace than others. Following a description of the DCM Demonstration Program sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the manual describes the critical elements of a DCM program and performance guidelines. This section discusses case differentiation criteria, case processing tracks and procedures, case screening and track determination, court control of case progress and deadlines, information support, judicial system leadership, and mechanisms for interagency coordination. The DCM implementation agenda is presented under the topics of judicial system commitment; judicial system leadership and administrative support; determination of the key players; evaluation of the existing caseflow process; definition of criteria and agreement on track characteristics; alteration of existing procedures and the institution of new ones; assurance of adequate interagency coordination, management, and support; orientation and training; and ongoing program assessment and fine-tuning. 4 notes, a list of sources for additional information and assistance, and a 10-item selected bibliography