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Does reducing case processing time reduce recidivism?


Case processing times throughout the United States exceed national standards created by multiple agencies. To combat this, multiple expedited case processing courts have been developed across the nation; however, research regarding these courts has failed to consider recidivism outcomes among participants. The authors examined the outcomes of a specialized court in the Salt Lake City Third District Court called the Early Case Resolution (ECR) court, a program aimed at reducing both case processing times and recidivism. Using a propensity score-matched sample, the authors utilized survival analysis to look at participants’ time to recidivism.

While case processing times were lower for the ECR court participants than non-ECR participants, recidivism among ECR Court participants was significantly higher. Results from this study show that using recidivism as an outcome measure for expedited case processing courts is necessary in evaluations of these programs.


Butters, R., Prince, K. C., Walker, A., Worwood, E. B., & Sarver, C. M. (2018). Does reducing case processing time reduce recidivism? A study of the early case resolution court. Criminal Justice Policy Review. First published online: 24 July 2018.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23