Delaware Courts launch efforts to improve, standardize and streamline Problem-Solving Courts

05/15/2017
The improvement efforts were kicked off Monday with the release of the final report of the Criminal Justice Council of the Judiciary (CJCJ) at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington. The CJCJ was formed in October 2014 by order of the Delaware Supreme Court following Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr.’s call for a review of the problem-solving courts and their operations. The CJCJ is chaired by Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter, Jr. and co-chaired by Superior Court President Judge Jan R. Jurden who led a team of judicial officers in their extensive substantive review of each problem-solving court throughout the State.
 
This review culminated in the CJCJ’s “Report on Delaware’s Problem-Solving Courts.” The report contains a series of recommendations to improve Delaware’s problem-solving courts by enabling them to operate more efficiently and consistently while providing the same level of specialized attention designed to address the root causes of recurring issues among those with mental health issues and substance abuse issues and those unique to veterans.
 
In conjunction with the release of the report on Monday, April 24, 2017, Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr. signed a Supreme Court order consolidating the Superior Court and Court of Common Pleas Drug Courts and Mental Health Courts in New Castle County to test the initiative, and assigning a pool of qualified designated judicial officers as a rational and cost-effective way of maximizing scarce resources and promoting judicial efficiency. The cross-designation of three Superior Court judges and one Superior Court commissioner, and four Court of Common Pleas judges will allow them greater flexibility in handling cases involving lower-level felonies and misdemeanors, where the focus is more often on treatment issues and working to ensure compliance with treatment rather than on punishment. These judicial officers possess the knowledge, training and experience with problem-solving courts that will ultimately increase public safety, reduce recidivism and rehabilitate offenders.
 
By combining these problem-solving courts, the Delaware Judiciary is able to conserve resources while still offering the benefits of a specialty treatment court to the community. Combining the courts also assists our criminal justice partners, like treatment providers and Probation and Parole, by significantly reducing the number of court proceedings they will have to staff.
 
The full CJCJ report can be found on the Delaware Courts website HERE.
 
The Delaware Judiciary is also pleased to announce it has received a $300,000 grant that will be used to fund a 36-month project to develop statewide core standards and policies for problem-solving courts in Delaware and to fund a contractual statewide problem-solving court coordinator, Brenda A. M. Wise. The grant is funded through the Delaware Criminal Justice Council by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Adult Drug Court Program.

Repost from delaware1059

 

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