Abstract for: The Power of the Stock: Accumulations in the Colombian Accusatory System Reform

The criminal justice apparatus is an example of a complex system; it can be conceived as a purposeful arrangement of heterogeneous and loosely interrelated actors whose missions are to enforce the law and to prosecute and rehabilitate offenders. This article explores the problem of the growing congestion of criminal cases in a recently implemented reform introduced by the Colombian government; in particular the focus is the criminal process as stipulated by the new accusatory system formally implemented in 2005. A simulation model of this new criminal process system was developed for the Corporation for Excellence in Justice (Corporación Excelencia en la Justicia). The paper depicts the main aspects of the model. It also offers selected analyses focused on the way that criminal cases are accumulated and evacuated through the main stages of the new accusatory system. The model shows that this system is largely driven by accumulations which provide a pervasive inertia. But what is more important is that such distinctive characteristic seems to be unnoticed for decision making processes. The paper underlines the importance of understanding the significant dynamics associated with accumulations and how this learning can be promoted through simulation.