Rhode Island and six other states have reduced their backlogs of felony cases, says the Providence Journal. The National Center for State Courts says the states had clearance rates of more than 100 percent, disposing of more cases than were filed in a year. Between 2000 and 2002, Rhode Island averaged a felony clearance rate of 103 percent, trailing New York and Utah, which averaged 106 percent.
The national center said the number of trials is down across the country. “And we’re not sure why,” she said. “Possibly the crime rate is down, and possibly programs and procedures within the court are leading to fewer trials.”
The seven states with clearance rates of 101 percent or higher, are: New York, Utah, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Alabama, Idaho, and New Jersey. At the other end of the spectrum, six states had clearance rates below 90 percent: California, Missouri, North Dakota, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Florida.