The Third Branch
2014-16 PPAC Critical Issues survey results
By Bonnie MacRitchie, Office of Court Operations
Every other year, the Planning Subcommittee of Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC) solicits input from court-affiliated stakeholders to establish current priorities and develop a Critical Issues report.
Responses to the survey for the 2014-16 Critical Issues report have been collected. A total of 536 individuals responded to the survey, an increase of more than 200 from the last survey cycle. As in years past, the Planning Subcommittee extended invitations to complete the survey to internal and external stakeholder groups such as the Department of Corrections, Department of Justice and members of the legislature.
The Critical Issues survey results identified four issues for the court to prioritize: judicial independence, selection and ethics; court security; use of technology and evidence-based practices.
The survey also revealed 83.1 percent of judges and other court-affiliated respondents believe there are enough opportunities to provide input about Wisconsin court system Initiatives. The Planning Subcommittee is currently developing action steps to help address these issues, which will be included in a report for consideration by the Supreme Court and Director of State Courts.
PPAC gave judges an additional opportunity to submit feedback on court system priorities via live polling technology and paper surveys during the committee’s session at the Judicial Conference. Some of the results of the polls include:
- 62 percent of judges feel that eFiling would improve court system efficiency in their county.
- 74 percent of judges would like both more training and information about how mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders may be affecting individuals and the criminal justice system.
- 86 percent of judges believe a summary of current research findings about evidence-based practices would assist them in their sentencing decision making.
The final 2014-16 Critical Issues report will be presented to PPAC in January 2014.