The Louisiana survey consisted of two phases, a general survey of the public and an oversample of people who had used the court system within the past five years. This emphasis on the users of the courts (1307 were interviewed) is a unique aspect of the Louisiana study. Various types of court users, i.e., jurors, witnesses, civil litigants, defendants, etc., have significantly different evaluations of the court system. Predictably, people who have the most at stake in the outcome, such as victims, criminal defendants, and people in domestic disputes, are the most negative toward the courts. Jurors, court employees, and traffic defendants are the most positive. The Louisiana study also makes explicit comparisons to other states. Areas Where The Louisiana Courts Are Doing Well: Court personnel get high ratings from court users for being courteous, being able to answer questions and willingness to explain things. Judges are thought to be qualified for their jobs and courteous toward court users. The vast majority of users of LouisianaΓÇÖs courts feel safe in the courthouses. Areas Where the Louisiana Courts Need Improvement: Courts users, including the jurors, are particularly negative about the time it takes to complete cases and about the time that passes from arrest to trial. Frustration was expressed about the lack of enforcement of child support awards. Black court users report less courteous treatment by both judges and court personnel than white court users. With the exception of jurors, users of the court system typically did not receive information from the court about court processes. Majorities of all types of court users believe that unequal treatment is a problem in Louisiana's courts, particularly unequal treatment based on economic status and political connections. Substantial majorities of all types of court users, with the exception of criminal defendants and court employees, believe that courts are too soft on crime. Even jurors, who are generally the most positive court users, share this sentiment regarding crime. Comparisons to Other States: Forty-eight explicit comparisons were made to identical questions in twelve other states, and of these, Louisiana rated lower on thirty-seven items. About half of these comparisons were in the area of equal treatment based on economics or race.
Howell, Susan E., "Citizen Evaluation of the Louisiana Courts" (1998). Survey Research Center Publications. Paper 31.