Increasingly, courts influence the spending decisions of other public agencies. Yet, financial and cost accounting techniques have only recently been applied to improve judicial management practices. Using the unexpected influx of Cuban "Mariel" refugees in the early 1980s as a case study, this article examines case management problems in the criminal division of a large urban court. Results confirm the need to better integrate criminal justice information systems and develop means of estimating court costs. Further, the application of cost accounting techniques commonly used in the private sector may be limited by the unique financial and budgetary environment of the courts. Conclusions urge more research before judges and court administrators have the necessary analytical tools to manage information, evaluate programs, and control costs.
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