The essential function of the Research & Statistics Department is to collect and analyze statistical information relevant to court operations. Datasets for civil, family, and orphans’ courts, as well as jury data are provided by the 67 counties that comprise the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania. Criminal and dependency data are provided by the automated Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS). Recent initiatives, such as the Statewide Civil Cover Sheet and the Jury Manager’s Toolbox (in conjunction with the National Center for State Courts) helped to improve the quality of civil and jury data. To insure data accuracy, technical assistance and on-site training is provided to court personnel. Annual caseload data is posted to the Unified Judicial System website and published as the Annual Caseload Statistics of the Unified Judicial System. In addition to the published caseload statistics and county specific caseload pages, selected data are now available via interactive dashboards on the UJS website.
Another significant role of the department is to coordinate and conduct studies that help inform policy and practice improvements to the administration of justice, most recently a study of the statewide civil case inventory and a study of domestic relations fees. The department also provides research support to various work groups and committees, such as the Elder Law Task Force and the Public Access Committee.
The department is also responsible for additional annual data collection cycles and reports, including medical malpractice, Guardianship Act 24 of 1992, and the submission of statewide data to the National Center for State Courts and the PA Data Center.