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Word Processing in the Courts

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1984
This monograph reviews court applications for word processing and outlines a systems approach to needs assessment and implementing a word processing system.

Applications are separated into two groups, according to functions the word processor must perform: (1) text editing, including the production of manuscripts, fill-in forms and letters, standard documents, and ordinary correspondence and memos; and (2) case tracking and processing, for which the processor must produce lists, calendars, indexes, statistics, and tickler files. Each group is discussed in detail, along with the word processing capabilities needed. To provide managers with a clear understanding of word processing, the paper examines distinctions between word and data processing, word processing system components and software capabilities, system configurations, and types of word processing systems. A systems approach to evaluating court needs and installing word processors focuses on five steps: identification of problems and alternative solutions; cost-benefit analysis; the procurement process; implementation and training; and continuous monitoring, evaluation, and refinement. The report does not compare particular models or manufacturers, since the industry and technology are changing constantly. A glossary and 16 references are supplied. The appendixes contain a typing survey form, a request for proposal from the Rhode Island Supreme Court, a site visit report, and results of a telephone survey of five courts using word processors.

Date Published: January 1, 1984