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Expedited Drug Case Management Programs: Some Lessons in Case Management Reform

NCJ Number
Justice System Journal Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: special issue (1994) Pages: 19-40
J E Jacoby
Date Published
22 pages
This article discusses some of the data that have emerged from evaluations of Differentiated Case Management (DCM) and Expedited Drug Case Management (EDCM) strategies that have been implemented in courtrooms across the country.
DCM/EDCM programs feature strategies for case management that classify cases according to the expected time on the docket. They are based on the assumption that not all cases need to follow the same court-processing sequence from arraignment to disposition and sentencing. The goals of DCM/EDCM programs are to provide courts with a way to relieve backlogs in criminal and civil caseloads, to use existing resources more efficiently, and to provide defendants with a speedy trial without sacrificing the needs of nondrug cases to the demands of the rising drug-related filings. Principles of case management include early screening and classification, assignment of each case to a track, establishment of applicable time frames, and continuous monitoring of each case. EDCM programs established in Philadelphia, Indiana, and New Jersey are examined in terms of their replicability in other locations and cost implications. Critical factors for success identified here relate to the external environment, policy and planning, organization and structure, management and administration, operations, and coordination. Results indicate that future replication of these programs in other locations is likely and will provide a good basis for case management reform. 5 figures, 1 table, and 11 references