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Keeping Pace - Court Resources and Crime in Ten U.S. Cities

NCJ Number
84702
Author(s)
J A Beecher, H Jacob, M J Rich, D H Swank
Date Published
January 1982
Length
11 pages
Annotation
The study analyzing the performance of courts and criminal justice agencies in 10 cities finds that although crime rates have risen sharply, court resources have increased more rapidly than the inflow of new cases.
Abstract
Study data were collected from newspapers, police departments, local court officials, and published reports. The data time frame is the 31-year period from 1948 to 1978. Statistics confirm that the period witnessed a large surge in recorded crime and also indicate that courts received resources beyond what might be expected because of a rise in arrests. As was anticipated, courts received more help in those cities where crime had a prominent place on the political agenda. In general, courts did not keep up with their caseloads, and backlogs developed. Future investigations focus on how the patterns of investment in court resources fit into a more general pattern of responses to crime in these 10 cities and how they are related to the cities' political process. Five tables and nine footnotes are provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1982