Weighted Caseload Study

Collaboration with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

The Department of Indigent Defense Services (DIDS), in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), is conducting a weighted caseload study to determine the appropriate numerical caseload/workload standards for providers of indigent legal representation in the rural counties of Nevada. The study will result in the production of recommended caseload standards for rural indigent defense providers that accounts for (a) variation in counties and courts, (b) variation in delivery models, and (c) the variation in distance between courts. The project will also include participation by investigators and support staff in the rural counties and will provide staffing recommendations for those positions as well.

All rural indigent defense service providers, including attorneys, investigators, support staff and social workers are expected to participate. Without full participation, we cannot develop these important standards and will not have adequate metrics to help us determine staffing needs for these critical positions. The weighted caseload study, which is overseen by an advisory committee comprised of public defenders, contract attorneys, administrative staff, county managers, an investigator and DIDS representatives, will provide the basis on which to develop these critical standards.

The weighted caseload time study of current practice will occur between January 25 and March 5, 2021. Participation in the time study by all rural attorneys, investigators, support staff and social workers is critical to the success of the project and will ensure that the data collected will provide a complete and accurate description of the workload across the state. Time study participants have been provided with user IDs and passwords for the website that has been designed for data entry for this study. The data entry website can be accessed here.

As the leader in workload assessment for courts and justice system partners in the U.S. and internationally, the NCSC employs a sophisticated multi-method approach to translating caseload into workload. The highly participatory process integrates empirical data with stakeholder perspectives on quality of justice and effective practices. NCSC has conducted workload assessments for judges, court staff, probation and parole officers, prosecutors, and public defenders in 35 states. to learn more about the NCSC, you may visit our website by clicking on this link.

For more information on the study, please contact Suzanne Tallarico at stallarico@ncsc.org.