U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Conducting a Felony Caseflow Management Review: A Practical Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
68 pages
This guide is to be used in reviewing and improving a court's felony caseflow management system.
The first section presents brief descriptions of fundamental elements of effective caseflow management systems and effective felony case management practices. Elements of effective caseflow management include judicial leadership; early and continuous judicial supervision of case progress; credible hearing/trial dates; observance of time standards and goals; an information system that supports caseflow management; and ongoing interagency communication and consultation. Effective felony caseflow management practices include early availability of the arrest report; early attachment of counsel and prompt client interviews; realistic charging; early exchange of information between prosecution and defense; an emphasis on early disposition; case screening by prosecution, defense, and judge; early, realistic disposition offers; cases assigned a future date certain for a specific purpose; and early proceedings used as an opportunity to dispose of the case or move it toward disposition. The second section of this guide presents a methodology for assessing the extent to which a court's felony caseflow management system incorporates the elements and effective practices described in the guide's first section. It describes approaches for developing a comprehensive understanding of the system under review, evaluating the information obtained during the review, and presenting the result of the analysis to the court and justice agencies. Appendixes provide guidance for conducting effective reviews and various types of interviews, recommended statistical data to be collected, and an analytical checklist that facilitates comparison of existing practices with those proven to be effective. The author advises that with very little modification, this guide can be used to evaluate civil, misdemeanor, juvenile, and family court caseflow management.

Date Published: May 1, 2010