Chief Judge O'Connell announces juror exit questionnaire pilot survey

Released On 06/26/2001

Cook County Chief Judge Donald P. O'Connell today announced the court will begin distributing a questionnaire (attached) to persons who complete jury service in the Fifth Municipal District Courthouse in Bridgeview on July 16, 2001, as a pilot survey to determine how the court can improve service it provides to jurors. The project is being launched in cooperation with Fifth Municipal District Presiding Judge Anthony S. Montelione.

"The juror exit questionnaire will help the court to further improve the jury process subsequent to the numerous reforms which were implemented in 1997," said Chief Judge O'Connell. "The areas to be examined will provide data to enable us to assess improvements in the Office of Jury Administration and to make jurors' experiences more enlightening and increase their level of satisfaction."

Chief Judge O'Connell added, "If the juror exit questionnaire pilot survey generates a strong response on the part of jurors in District Five, it will be expanded to all other court locations."

Presiding Judge Anthony S. Montelione praised the selection of the court's Fifth Municipal District facility for the introduction of the juror exit questionnaire. "The court's facility in Bridgeview has a smaller juror population which will facilitate in the initial implementation of the pilot survey," said Judge Montelione. "The Circuit Court of Cook County has many programs that place the comfort and convenience of jurors first in the jury service process. Jurors are a logical resource to tap to determine how effective those programs are and where there is need for improvement," said Judge Montelione.

Utilizing information obtained from the questionnaire, the court will track a juror's experience from the receipt of a summons until the juror's completion of service. Topics covered by the questionnaire include activities of Office of Jury Administration employees and courtroom personnel, maintenance and convenience of court facilities, and the amount of time spent during the various stages of jury service.

Other aspects of the jury service process covered by the questionnaire include the number of assignments to a courtroom before a person is selected as a juror or released from service, the effectiveness of the system in explaining the jurors' responsibilities, and various issues relating to the jury selection process.

Jurors also are asked to rate the effectiveness of orientation procedures, both by court personnel and the court-produced 12-minute orientation video, You, the Juror. There also are sections on a juror's previous experience receiving jury summonses and reporting for jury service.

Persons called for jury service not empaneled on a jury will receive the questionnaire from jury assembly room personnel at the conclusion of service. Jurors selected for trial will receive the questionnaire at the conclusion of the trial from courtroom personnel.

Chief Judge O'Connell explained no one will be required to complete the anonymous questionnaire and that all information will be used to improve the process. Once completed the questionnaires can be returned to jury assembly room personnel, courtroom personnel or mailed to the Jury Administrator at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago.

The questionnaire was developed by the Circuit Court of Cook County's Office of Jury Administration and was modeled on questionnaires used in other jurisdictions around the country and from resources available from the National Center For State Courts.

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