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Use of Social Media in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County

NCJ Number
Patricia Seguin
Date Published
May 2011
72 pages
This study analyzed the use of social media in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, AZ.
This study was conducted to determine whether the use of social media in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County (the Court) would be an appropriate and effective way for judges and court personnel to communicate with the public. General findings from the study include the following: judicial officers do not believe the Court should be using Facebook or Twitter as a means to communicate with the public; general public users of the Court's Facebook do monitor the page but generally go to the Court's Web site when looking for specific information about the Court; and media consumers using Twitter predominantly use the Court's feed for breaking news but access the Court's Web site when seeking more specific information. The primary purpose of the study was to answer four questions: where does the community typically receive news and information regarding the Court?; which components of social media are beneficial to the Court?; what are the common pitfalls encountered when the Court uses social media?; and is social media an effective way for the Court to communicate with the public. Data for the study were obtained from a literature review and three electronic surveys. Two of the surveys were distrusted to the Court's media and general public while the third survey was sent to the judicial officers of the Court's bench. Given the findings of the survey, this paper makes a set of recommendations for improving and accentuating the benefits of the Court's social media efforts, such as allowing court officers the opportunity to express their concerns regarding the use of social media, educating court officers and personnel on the benefits of using social media, and improving the dissemination of court information to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Charts, tables, appendixes, and bibliography