The Verdict: Success
Travis County, Texas, introduced a system in March 2002 that allows jurors to respond to summonses online, and the response was quite positive. Now, 85 percent of potential jurors respond online, which has saved the court over $100,000 and upped the number of trials it can handle.
The response was surprising, and the court began saving money almost at once, says district clerk Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza.
Roughly a quarter of summonses return due to bad addresses; about 10 percent of people do not respond, and 35 percent are excused.
Responding used to require visiting the courthouse or an offsite location, but due to parking difficulties and the loss of the offsite building, the court surveyed people to find out if they would use the Internet instead, were it offered.
I-Jury was implemented with a $250 software patch and some help from the county Records Management Department.
Jury management staff responds to 85 percent of the summonses through email, while potential jurors spend about 10 minutes responding to summonses.
The county hopes to expand the system, and wants to make it available to other counties.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Government Technology (01/04) Vol. 17, No. 1, P. 44; McKay, Jim.