AuthorShomade, Salmon Adegboyega
AdvisorHartley, Roger E.
Committee ChairHartley, Roger E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is an empirical study of the actors and organizations working in criminal and drug courts. Specifically, the dissertation examines the structure (as defined by the interactions and relationships of players) of a criminal court and a drug court operating under a state trial court system in the United States. Recent reforms to trial courts indicate that the organizational structure of a typical trial court has changed in many states. Separately, specialty courts which help coordinate treatment for offenders like drug users and mental patients in many jurisdictions have changed the structure, process, and the nature of trial courts.The study is an inductive study using a case method research strategy to build new theory from past findings of organizational studies of criminal courts and from the little we know about drug courts as organizations. The method of inquiry in the study is a triangular research strategy that incorporates both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The qualitative data collection methods include primarily participant observations of drug team meetings and court proceedings, and semi-structured interviews with actors representing organizations participating in both criminal and drug courtrooms. The study uses network analysis as the primary method for analyzing quantitative data. The research site is the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, located in Tucson, Arizona.I found that the most important central actors across all phases of the criminal court case disposition process are judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, and that measuring core workgroup actors across all phases give a more accurate picture of the criminal court case disposition process. I also found that defense attorneys may be less familiar with other court actors than prosecutors because they may enter the criminal justice system from many different sponsoring organizations. As for the drug court case disposition process, the study shows that the most central player is not always the judge. In addition, the study reveals that drug courts, as court reforms, have little overall connection to overall criminal court organization. Important policy implications and theory inferences, as well as recommendations for future court studies, are discussed.