Case fillings are shown in the chart on the right. In 2000, the criminal division tried 15 misdemeanors and 11 felony jury trials. In addition, 5 felony, 43 misdemeanor, and 121 traffic matters were tried as court trials. The civil division tried 14 jury and 64 court trials and, in addition, heard 2,005 motions.
Implementing a separation of indigent defense counsel, four for adult criminal proceedings and two primary counsel to cover juvenile court proceedings, has proven to be a success. The public defenders for adult court act as backup attorneys for juvenile court cases, when more than two counsel are required for a case. This has allowed more efficiency in scheduling the court matters involving juveniles.
The year 2000 saw the implementation of the Juvenile Court Management System (JCMS) and although it has been a frustrating experience it is our hope that this system will become more user-friendly. The information that was entered into the juvenile court management system by the court officers and support staff should allow for statistical reports to be easily obtained.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act continues to be a learning process. This Act has presented many challenges.
In May of 2000 the first Juvenile Drug Court within the district was established.
Prevention programming in the community remains in full swing. There are concerns that reduced funds may limit the successful options currently available.
Our community is currently immersed in an Underage Alcohol Usage Task Force. The target population is the l8-21 year-olds. The task force is divided into education opportunities, social norms, parental-public awareness, early identification, and treatment.