This book helps elected and appointed government officials and citizens assess and establish standards for the efficient and effective delivery of quality services. Actual benchmarks are provided for numerous services such as libraries, parks and recreation, public works, emergency medical services, courts, animal control, risk management and public transport.
Chapter 6: Courts
Be careful talking about performance standards and performance measurement around municipal court judges. Courts, they are likely to declare, are about due process and justice; they are not about revenues and efficiency. And who wants to argue with a judge?
Courts are about justice and due process, but measures of effectiveness can be devised that are consistent with that mission. Furthermore, measures of efficiency need not be considered an affront to the court's higher mission. Prompt—that is, efficient—judicial action backed by efficient support services is a worthy objective.
The nature of the municipal court function renders quite slim the prospect of extremely precise and widely accepted standards of performance, at least insofar as the nonroutine elements of the court's work are concerned. The more routine ...