A basic question: Does our court system work and do you understand how?
Some out there might give a definitive yes, others a definitive no. Still others might give a more tempered answer.
But how do we back up our answer? After all, there’s currently no established way to measure the effectiveness of our court system.
Writing in the New York Times on Wednesday, author Amy Bach sets up the problem like this:
“In communities across the country, people use statistics on hospitals, schools and other public services to decide where to live or how to vote. But while millions of Americans deal with their local criminal courts as defendants and victims each year, there is no comparable way to assess a judicial system and determine how well it provides basic legal services.”
This lack of data has a corrosive effect: without public awareness of a court system’s strengths and weaknesses, inefficiencies and civil liberties violations are never remedied. Thus, more data is needed. What do you think about this?
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