The AP explains that more than twelve state court systems are embracing text messages to remind defendants to show up for critical hearings and trials. It seems to work: a pilot program in New York City cut no-shows by 26 percent.
The Indianapolis Star has published an interesting op-ed from Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Tennessee State Court Administrator Deborah Taylor Tate, exploring (at a high level) how the national opioid epidemic has affected state courts. A snippet:
[O]ne fact remains: the state court justice system is now the primary referral source for addiction treatment in the country.
This reality has put enormous strain on our nation’s state courts, many of which have been overwhelmed by growing dockets and shrinking resources. In a recent survey of chief justices and state court administrators, 55 percent ranked the opioid epidemic’s impact on the courts as severe. The survey results are unsurprising, given the complexity of opioid cases: it takes an enormous amount of time to figure out what’s best for people who are addicted, how to care for their children, and what resources are available for them. And those who are placed in a treatment program with court oversight may remain involved with the court for years.
The courts are often the place of last resort for problems facing society, and have no choice but to address those problems creatively and (usually) with limited budgets. The opioid crisis is certainly playing out that way.
Two years ago this week, I began tracking and commenting on stories that reflect how courts interact with their environments. Hundreds of posts later, we have learned a great deal — with much more to come.
Thanks to everyone who has read so far — and come back for much more in the next year!
My latest contribution to the New England Faculty Blog explains why Twitter pundits could use a good dose of jury duty. Check it out!
My latest post at the New England Faculty Blog explains why the efforts of Senate Democrats to grill judicial nominees on their religious beliefs is both wrong as a matter of course, and a strategic blunder that the President is ready to exploit.
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Yesterday, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts estimated that it can sustain funded operations through next Thursday, January 31. It further cautioned that “No further extensions [of operations] beyond Feb. 1 will be possible.”
Funds have dried up. Even the couch cushions have yielded their bounty. Can the other two branches finally bring the shutdown to an end?