Spread the good news in 2018!

By: Carla Hardnett and Ashley Garner

Set a 2018 goal to learn more about how well your court operates.  As Judicial Council/AOC Research and Data Analysis (RDA) staff interact with judges and clerks they marvel at the volume of work accomplished by such a select number of professionals. A common area of inquiry is how a court may go about articulating how well it is operating. During a recent interview with Carla Hardnett, RDA Program Manager, she shared that her team is building a list of services that any court in Georgia may tap into with the goal of addressing this particular inquiry.

In addition to supporting courts with their annual workload submissions, the RDA team is prepared to help courts use this information as a starting point to dig deeper. Each city and county in Georgia is unique, steeped in history and tradition. Utilizing simple performance measures is one manner of cultivating information for analysis. Carla is excited to work with courts and communities in 2018 on an Access and Fairness Survey. This survey will allow court users to rate the court’s accessibility and treatment of customers in the areas of fairness, equality, and respect.

From courtools.org, “Many assume that "winning" or "losing" is what matters most to citizens when dealing with the courts. However, research consistently shows that positive perceptions of court experience are shaped more by court users' perceptions of how they are treated in court, and whether the court's process of making decisions seems fair. This measure provides a tool for surveying all court users about their experience in the courthouse. Comparison of results by location, division, type of customer, and across courts can inform and improve court management practices.”

Court users will have an opportunity to share insight into very specific areas from their point of view. A few survey areas include:
•    Finding the courthouse was easy
•    Forms were clear and easy to understand
•    Felt safe in the courthouse
•    Court staff paid attention to my needs
•    The judge listened to my side of the story before he or she made a decision

Any court interested in measuring positive public perceptions and communicating this information to local stakeholders is encouraged to contact the Judicial Council’s Office of Research and Data Analysis. Great work is being done in Georgia’s courts. Make 2018 the year this message is shared. 

For more information on CourTools, see http://courtools.org or email casecount@georgiacourts.gov.

Contact AOC

Administrative Office of the Courts 244 Washington Street, SW Suite 300 Atlanta, GA  30334

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