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Efficiency, Timeliness, and Quality: A New Perspective From Nine State Criminal Trial Courts (Full Report)

NCJ Number
Brian J. Ostrom; Roger A. Hanson
Date Published
202 pages

This study examines the relationship between case processing timeliness and quality.


The study examined criminal trial court systems in nine states to determine: (1) the extent to which caseload characteristics, management strategies and resources contributed to differences in the pace of felony litigation; (2) why some cases are processed more quickly than others; and (3) whether attorneys' attitudes about key dimensions of case processing quality vary systematically with the speed of case processing. Timeliness in felony case processing occurred in contexts that also were conducive to the achievement of case processing quality. More efficient work orientations among prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys and attorneys' views about their work environment and toward each other's activities were linked to the timeliness of their court. Notes, figures, tables, appendixes, references