Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $375,559)
The 2009 State Court Organization (SCO) project is a unique reference that provides a comprehensive description of the organizational and structural characteristics of state trial and appellate courts. The 2009 SCO survey will build on previous surveys of the nation's state courts conducted in 1980, 1987, 1993, 1998, and 2004. SCO 2009 will focus on updating key information describing state trial and appellate court systems. Some of the information collected will include the overall number of courts and judges in the nation's state courts; the selection and service requirements of judges; the governance, funding and administration of the judicial branch; the jurisdiction, staffing, and procedures associated with the nation's appellate courts; the administration, procedures, and specialized jurisdiction of state trial courts; the composition and workings of state juries; the sentencing context; and the overall structure of appellate and trial courts in each state. In addition to updating prior reference tables, SCO 2009 will expand the contents surveyed to reflect current policy and administrative interests of state trial and appellate courts, and design a web-based version of SCO that will capitalize on internet functionality to collect and publish the reference SCO information. Through this process, SCO 2009 will become a more interactive and web-based product.