(32S) Planning Optimum Court Capacity
04-14-2024, 11:33 AM
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 SlideRule Senior Member Posts: 1,468 Joined: Dec 2013
(32S) Planning Optimum Court Capacity
An excerpt from Planning Optimum Court Capacity, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Attorney General's Department, Sydney, 1990, 34 pages {ISBN 0 7305 8742 8}

PREFACE

This report is designed to help managers make more informed decisions about when and how to increase (or decrease) court capacity. Too much court capacity results in a wastage of scarce public resources. Too little court capacity results in court delay and all the inequities associated with it. The problem for court administrators has always been how to find an objective means by which to steer a sensible middle course between the Scylla of court delay and the Charybdis of excess capacity.
It is possible to steer such a course. The present report shows how. The theory underlying the method will appear highly technical to court administrators whose specialisation is in the law rather than in statistics. It is hoped that this will not act as a deterrent. Though full appreciation of the logic underlying the method requires some statistical sophistication, the method itself is quite straightforward and, as is shown in the report, may easily be programmed on a simple desk-top calculator.

SUMMARY

This report provides a solution to the problem. It proposes a method which measures the demand for court time as the sum of the hearing times of all cases to be disposed of. The method relies only on the assumption that case hearing times are independent of each other. …

The method described for choosing the optimum court capacity takes into account both the risk of demand exceeding capacity and the likely amount of spare capacity.

The report describes in detail the mathematical theory underlying the method for determining an optimum court capacity but application of the method involves the use of only a few simple formulae which can easily be programmed on a calculator. The report explains how this is done.

1. INTRODUCTION

… The structure of the report is as follows. Section 2 describes the theory and assumptions underlying the method being proposed for determining the court capacity required to meet a given level of demand. Section 3 extends the theory to examine alternatives to changing court capacity. Section 4 describes the practical steps involved in using the method to determine court capacity. Readers interested simply in seeing an application of the method can pass directly to Section 4. Finally, an appendix provides program listings and instructions for use on an HP 32S programmable calculator. . …

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