The Pros And Cons Of Caseload Pressure

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Caseload pressure is said to have its initial impact in a variety of investigative omissions, driven by costs that result in many offenders escaping prosecution. Police departments, for example, will refuse to carry investigations of misdemeanors (and even of some felonies) beyond filling out a crime report unless the offender was caught in the act or was identified by a witness. When investigations are carried forward, resource limitations make certain more costly investigative techniques (e.g., random interviewing of persons in the crime vicinity and careful inspection of the crime scene for forensic traces) available only for the most serious crimes. So too, it is argued, for all but the most serious offenses, police commonly make little more than a superficial attempt to locate known offenders who have fled or are "missing." Limited resources force police departments to leave apprehension of the offender in such cases to the chance that the offenders will "fall into their laps" as a result of a traffic stop or an arrest on another matter. After police have made an arrest, the pressures of excessive caseloads are shifted to the prosecutors. Caseload limitations are said to force prosecutors to restrict…show more content…
Those magistrate courts that have dockets approaching 20,000 cases each year, however, are unlikely to be able either to achieve the preventative goals of an effective criminal law or to allow without sanctions the exercise of trial rights by those defendants who view that course as in their best interest. With only a few minutes to give to each case, the court can hardly ensure that the process will be

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