November 28, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Case backlog is a pressing, system-crippling criminal justice issue that is currently being experienced by many prosecutors’ offices across the country. Case backlogs can be the result of a variety of circumstances and, in order to diagnose these issues and develop solutions, the causes and impacts of backlogs must first be understood. However, to date, there have been no nationally representative surveys or reports measuring case backlogs  or their impacts within offices.

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, in collaboration with Lafayette College, has created a survey through its Prosecutorial Case Backlogs Project intended to assess the status of case backlogs in prosecutors’ offices across the country. The goal of this survey is to collect specific data regarding caseloads, staff numbers, and increases/decreases in backlogs over the past four years. The data collected by this study will be analyzed and the findings disseminated widely, including recommendations to assist offices nationwide with mitigating case backlogs. Finally, the results of this survey will inform the types of training and technical assistance that will be provided through the Prosecutorial Case Backlogs Project.

This survey will take approximately 30 minutes to fill out, and will ask for specific internal statistics and other backlog information, including:

  • Jurisdiction/office information such as population size and attorney numbers;
  • Case numbers in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022; and
  • Factors contributing to the case backlog.

We encourage you to select a person knowledgeable about your office’s case and staff numbers regarding the information above. If your office has a Case Management System, we highly encourage consulting your system wherever feasible for the most accurate data. Even if you feel that your office is not currently experiencing a backlog, we encourage you to complete this survey, as this information will still be useful in assessing the state of case backlogs nationwide.

Please review the linked Informed Consent Document. All survey responses will be kept confidential and no directly identifying information will be published. Please complete this survey by no later than February 10. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Sasha Beatty at sasha.beatty@apainc.org.

Best Regards,

David LaBahn
President & CEO
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
11 DuPont Circle NW Ste. 501
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 861-2480

Adam I. Biener
Assistant Professor of Economics
Lafayette College
Easton, PA 18042
110 Simon Center
(610) 330-5314
bienera@lafayette.edu

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