Judicial Administration

“Dissatisfaction with the administration of justice is as old as law. Not to go outside of our own legal system, discontent has an ancient and unbroken pedigree. The Anglo-Saxon laws continually direct that justice is to be done equally to rich and to poor…”Roscoe Pound, 1906
JMI offers education and training, and technical assistance in judicial administration in the following disciplines:  purposes of courts; case management; leadership; budget, resources and finance; information technology; and program management. JMI staff are practitioners who have worked with judges, court administrators, court staff, prosecutors, the bar, defense attorneys, law enforcement, probation officers, and county officials.

Emerging Topics and Trends

Judicial administration is a formative profession in the United States. The balance between adjudication and administration of justice requires continual focus and development.

Core Competencies. The structure of core competencies for judicial administration as a profession were formed within the last fifteen years. The core competencies are evolving and being refined and expanded. The need for continuing education for professionals is in growing demand. JMI has been working with the National Association for Court Management to revise and update the core competencies to align with the profession.

Performance Measurement. The CourTools, IFCE standards, and state and local-based performance measures are in the adoption phase in courts. The demands of performance measurement are expanding to encompass pretrial, post-adjudication, supervision and corrections.

Access to Justice and Social Media. The use of new technologies, like web and mobile apps, are providing justice stakeholders with new ways to provide access to justice. Social interactions on social networks are becoming far more common for public outreach. Improper employee behavior has prompted the launch of policies and training in new technologies.

Education and Training

JMI experts offer case management education and training using a number of different approaches, techniques and technologies, including the following:

Judicial administration certificate training, Michigan State University (MSU) Judicial Administration program.  Training courses are offered, ranging from four to eighty contact hour programs, including the following.  If participants are seeking MSU certification, the training can be formalized with MSU and a small fee would be paid for each course:

  • Purposes and Responsibilities of Courts
  • Leadership
  • Caseflow Management
  • Budget, Resources and Finance
  • Information Technology Management
  • Essential Components

For more information on the MSU Judicial Administration program, click here.

Technical Assistance

Judicial administration analysis. JMI staff provide targeted judicial administration analysis across all courts and casetypes. Studies include strategic planning, audits, and implementation of targeted programs. Project examples include the consolidation of the Orleans Parish trial courts, including detailed analysis of leadership, budgets and finance, facilities and operations.

Project Highlights

Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department (ADJD) Judicial Excellence, United Arab Emirates

Tim Dibble, Vice President of JMI, led analysis and development of a judicial excellence program to implement the judiciary’s 2008-2013 strategic plan. Work focused on pillars of performance including leadership, case management, operations, human resources, and performance management.

Harris County, TX Criminal Justice System Improvement Project: Phase 1 Report

This 2009 report presents preliminary findings and recommendations from a study of the criminal justice system in Harris County conducted by JMI. The first phase of the study had three main objectives: (1) Develop baseline information about the current situation and recent trends with respect to criminal justice system operations; (2) Identify system strengths and key issues that warrant further investigation and possible development of alternative processes; and (3) Formulate plans for further research and consideration of alternative processes that can both improve justice system operations and reduce or contain the costs of system operation. The report reviews the structure and processes for handling felony and misdemeanor cases in Harris County from the time of initial arrest through to resolution of the cases that are filed and, in some instances, through post-conviction proceedings involving motions to revokes probation. From the outset, a primary focus of the project has been on the population of the Harris County Jail.

Fulton County, GA Case Management and Backlog Reduction Project: Final Report

This 2008 report was the result of JMI’s work with Fulton County. Initially, the project had two main goals: (1) formulate a detailed plan for reducing the backlog of old pending felony charge cases, with particular emphasis on cases involving defendants in jail; and (2) develop a new case management system for civil and criminal cases in the superior court, in order to enable fair and timely case resolution. As the project progressed, a third goal was added: to develop a package of recommendations for changes in system operation that assisted in reducing the total jail population to eliminate outsourcing of jail inmates to other counties.

Cuyahoga, OH Felony Case Processing Study Final Report

In 2005, JMI provided a report and recommendations of its study of the felony case processing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The study examines processes, business practices, and governance issues for the entire felony criminal justice system in the county from arrest to sentencing.

Juvenile Dependency Caseflow Management Workshop

JMI has developed a team-based curriculum for judges, court staff, and attorneys who deal with juvenile dependency cases. The goal of the 2 ½ day curriculum is to examine the juvenile dependency case process from the point where the matter first comes to the attention of the law enforcement or child welfare agency through the point when custody of the child is returned to his or her care giver or the child is adopted or placed into the permanent custody of an alternate caregiver not a part of the foster care system. The workshop is centered on preparing a plan for making needed changes in the way each individual court’s system processes juvenile dependency cases from the beginning to the end of the cases. This curriculum may be customized for a specific jurisdiction and the needs of the specific group. For more information, please click here.

Resources

Dibble, T., Gallas, G. (2004). Best Practices in U.S. Business Courts. The Court Manager, 19(2), 25.

 

Aimee WickmanJudicial Administration