BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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State Court Organization
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Since 1980, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has sponsored the State Court Organization (SCO) data collection series. This collection serves as the primary source for detailed information on the structure and framework of the nations state trial and appellate courts. The SCO collects data on the overall number of courts and judges in the nations state court system; the selection and service requirements of judges; the governance, funding, and administration of the judicial branch; and the jurisdiction, staffing, and procedures associated with the nations appellate courts. This collection also describes 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, the SCO series collects data on problem-solving courts, jury decisionmaking, judicial discipline, and the use of technology in courts. Data were collected under the SCO project in 1980, 1987, 1993, 1998, 2004, 2009, and 2011.

The SCO data have been used to generate several BJS reports on the organizational structure of state courts throughout the country. See the State Court Organization series to view the reports.

Topics covered under state court organization include the number of courts and judges, judicial selection, jury qualifications and verdict rules, and processing and sentencing procedures of criminal cases. Court structure diagrams summarize the key features of each state’s court organization.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


State Court Organization, 2011 Presents 2011 data on the organization and operations of state trial and appellate courts and examines trends from 1980 through 2011.
  PDF (1.8M) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 45K)
Part of the State Court Organization Series

State Court Organization, 1987-2004 Presents trend data from State Court Organization data collections covering the years 1987-2004.
  PDF (363K) | ASCII file (27K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 14K) | To order paper version
Part of the State Court Organization Series

State Court Organization, 2004 Presents detailed comparative data by State trial and appellate courts in the United States.
  PDF (5M) | ASCII file (34K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K) | To order paper version
Part of the State Court Organization Series

State Court Organization 1998 Presents detailed comparative data about State trial and appellate courts in the United States.
  Full Report (PDF 1.5M) | Full Report (ASCII file 98K) | Courts and Judges (PDF 78K) | Courts and Judges - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 3M) | Judicial Selection and Service (PDF 272K) | Judicial Selection and Service - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 17M) | The Judicial Branch: Governance, Funding, and Administration (PDF 422K) | The Judicial Branch: Governance, Funding, and Administration - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 30M) | Appellate Courts: Jurisdiction, Staffing, and Procedures (PDF 147K) | Appellate Courts: Jurisdiction, Staffing, and Procedures - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 27M) | Trial Courts: Administration, Procedures, Specialized Jurisdiction (PDF 309K) | Trial Courts: Administration, Procedures, Specialized Jurisdiction - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 13M) | The Jury (PDF 138K) | The Jury - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 3M) | The Sentencing Context (PDF 156K) | The Sentencing Context - ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 61K) | Court Structure Charts (PDF 214K) | Codebooks and Datasets | To order paper version
Part of the State Court Organization Series

State Court Organization 1993 This volume describes the organization of the State courts, and provides some corresponding information on the Federal court system.
  PDF

Performance Measures for the Criminal Justice System This compendium of Discussion Papers represents the work of the BJS-Princeton University Study Group on Criminal Justice Performance Measures.
  PDF (226K) | ASCII file (22K)

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