PSA Surveys Its Primary Customer

Laura E. House, PhD, Senior Program Analyst, Office of Strategic Development

PSA released its 2012 Judicial Survey Report, which presents findings from our biannual survey of judicial officers from the D.C. Superior Court and U.S. District Court.

PSA considers the judicial officers in both the D.C. Superior Court and U.S. District Court to be its most critical stakeholder in helping the Agency fulfill its mission and objectives. We value judicial feedback and place great emphasis on the recommendations made by the judges when considering enhancements to our overall services. To gather this information, PSA has conducted a biennial survey with judges from both courts for the past ten years. The purpose of the survey is to gauge judicial satisfaction with the overall quality and performance of PSA in providing services and support to the Courts, as well as to seek recommendations for improvement.

Overall, judges from both courts reported that PSA provides quality, beneficial information that assists them in making sound decisions regarding defendant release conditions. In addition, judges indicated that PSA provides an array of services that support their decisions to address appropriate release conditions and defendant needs. A full report of findings is available online in our Library.

Major survey highlights include:

For D.C. Superior Court

  • An overwhelming majority of judges are satisfied with PSA services. Specifically, they are satisfied with the array of PSA services, including supervision options, electronic surveillance, drug testing, and substance abuse treatment services.
  • A large majority of judges reported that PSA is highly responsive in addressing their concerns and issues and are satisfied with their ability to contact Pretrial Services Officers (PSOs) and supervisors regarding concerns. In addition, the judges indicated that PSOs are resourceful and helpful in the courtrooms and present when needed.
  • A large majority of the judges indicated that PSA’s reports and information are helpful in decision-making. Judges did, however, request that PSA ensure that all reports are sent timely and checked for accuracy and quality.

For U.S. District Court

  • All judges reported that they are satisfied with PSA services.
  • A majority of judges indicated that they are particularly impressed with the timeliness of Pretrial Services Reports, supervision strategies, electronic surveillance and drug testing.
  • A high percentage of judges reported that they are satisfied with their ability to contact PSOs and supervisors to address and resolve concerns.
  • While most judges reported that PSA’s recommendations are helpful, some indicated that PSA should review its recommendations more carefully to ensure that they are clear and useful to the Court.