El Paso

County uses survey to analyze court system

EL PASO, Texas - The court system in El Paso County is being analyzed using surveys in an effort to improve the judiciary process.

The latest survey, issued May 18, 2017, was based on the access, fairness, and customer service. More than 200 people participated.

Questions ranged from how difficult it was to park outside the courthouse to how well those doing business with the courts were treated.

County Commissioner Vince Perez pitched the idea to take a closer look at court metrics two years ago. Perez said the results of the survey will go a long way toward bettering the court system in the future.

"It's important feedback because it'll really help inform the courts and ultimately has the potential to reduce costs, because if there's inefficiencies in the system, or there are certain areas where we can improve, it just helps us better evaluate the performance of our judicial system," Perez said.

The county has developed metrics for things like court clearance rates, cost to taxpayers and average jail time.

Perez said El Paso County spends $70 million, a similar amount to what it cost to build Southwest University Park, to run the county jail system annually.

Criminal Court  #1 Judge Alma Trejo implemented a survey, which has 10 different criteria to evaluate the courts, in an attempt to better understand and improve the process.

"I welcome this. It's accountability and we need to know if we are trying cases fast enough," Judge Trejo said, "Do we have enough family courts to meet the communities need? We had never done this before."



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