Why is Streamlining the Criminal Justice Process so elusive?

June 7th, 2019

Firstly, why is Streamlining the Criminal Justice Process important? The cost of the Criminal Justice Process (CJP) is a global problem. 

In Australia alone, the Australian Institute of Criminology identified that in 2012, on the basis of an 80 percent allocation for crime-related functions, the total cost of policing crime in Australia in 2011–12 was $7,567m. It is also identified that the recurrent expenditure on state and territory prosecution agencies in 2011–12 was $303m, and the cost of criminal matters handled by the state and territory courts at supreme, district/county and magistrates’ levels including children’s courts was $759m.

Keeping in mind that these figures are now 7 years old, it still equates to 8.63 Billion Dollars a year. Of course, this doesn’t take into account the personal cost such as the impact on the officers, victims and families of all those involved in the criminal justice process.

So, streamlining the criminal justice process is of paramount importance.

There are two ways to streamline the criminal justice process

1. Throw more resources into the existing process (e.g. more investigators, more prosecutors, more magistrates and judges)

2. Create a more efficient process with existing resources

The first of course has the impact of increasing the cost significantly to agencies involved in the Criminal Justice Process. Given the ever-increasing government fiscal environment, this is unlikely to happen to any great level that would make any difference other then meeting increased demands on the criminal justice process.

The second, of creating more efficient processes would be the seemingly obvious solution. However, this obvious solution seems elusive to agencies involved in the criminal justice process. 

The problem is constantly acknowledged and published in a variety of reviews on the criminal justice process (e.g. Review of the civil and criminal justice system in Queensland (Moynihan) 2008) but rarely effectively acted on.

There are likely to be a range of internal and political views on why efforts to streamline the criminal process are yet to be implemented.

What can be worse than not acting on the problem, is professedly acting on the problem by putting in new case management solution that do little more than increase agency statistical reporting or data analytics capability. Resulting in the criminal justice process efficiencies and quality remaining unchanged. 

Elementising Evidence is a proven and strategic investigation and evidence management process that will increase the efficiency of the criminal justice process by 40% or more. It streamlines the criminal justice process by delivering a consistent and strategic evidence and brief management methodology.  

Originally designed as an investigation and evidence management methodology for investigators, the efficiency of finalising investigations and the quality of the briefs of evidence being produce resulted in a natural attrition of the barriers associated with streamlining the entire criminal justice process.

Increasing the efficiency of the criminal justice process by 40%, based on the costings produced by the Australian Institute of Criminology, has a national cost saving value of some 3.45 Billion Dollars.

With over 21 Commonwealth and State Government agencies now implementing the Elementising Evidence methodology, finally a movement and the journey to streamlining the criminal justice process has begun. 

Source – Australia Government Institute of Criminology (https://aic.gov.au/publications/rpp/rpp129/criminal-justice-system-costs)

Source – www.comtrac.com.au (The Case Management Mirage)(https://comtrac.wistia.com/medias/z8fl3q5kik)

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