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Key Elements of Successful Adjudication Partnerships

NCJ Number
Jane Nady Sigmon; M. Elaine Nugent; John Goerdt; Scott Wallace
Date Published
May 1999
11 pages
Adjudication partnerships that entail collaborative efforts among prosecutors, public defenders, and courts in the adjudication process are proliferating and are important to developing effective responses to complex problems such as backlogged dockets, crowded jails, and recidivism among drug-addicted offenders.
An adjudication partnership is a formal or informal collaborative effort. Representatives from crucial criminal justice system agencies join together in multiagency task forces, steering committees, or planning groups to identify problems, develop goals and strategies for addressing the problems, and oversee implementation plans to manage or solve the problems. The seven elements that participants consider crucial to a successful partnership include leadership, broad-based membership that includes a critical mass of committed leaders, clear and achievable goals, a team approach, a long-term view, research and evaluation, and broad support from the criminal justice system and the community. A national mail survey identified 103 well-established adjudication partnerships and resulted in the selection of 8 partnerships for site visits and other intensive study. Each of these eight partnerships displays the critical components of successful partnerships. Overall, adjudication partnerships have the potential for substantially changing the adjudication process as it is known today. Profiles of 8 partnerships, checklist, list of organizations from which to obtain more information, and 15 references