• Journal Article

A reality check on crime backlogs

Citation

Collins, J. (2012). A reality check on crime backlogs. Michigan Bar Journal, 91(10), 36-38.

Abstract

It took the unbiased perspective of a business and economics professor to lend credibility to what forensic scientists always knew was the main culprit in the explosion of crime laboratory backlogs across the United States: Consumers have little respect for things they don’t have to pay for. If it’s free, it must be abundant.<br><br>The work of Dr. Paul Speaker and his colleagues at West Virginia University has earned increasing attention among crime laboratory administrators seeking to deliver fast and reliable services to their customers without the nagging burden of case backlogs. An underlying theme of his research is also a fundamental principle<br>of economics. When a product or service is free to consumers, no economic regulatory influences exist to prevent demand from exceeding the capacity of the service provider. In other words, demand becomes infinite.