Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor announced that 54 local court projects are receiving more than $3.2 million in this year’s technology grant funding through the Ohio Supreme Court.
Case management upgrades and security improvements are among the local technology projects selected to receive funding through the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative.
This is the sixth year of disbursements since Chief Justice O’Connor initiated the program, with just over $17 million being received by courts across Ohio.
Ohio appeals, common pleas, municipal, and county courts are encouraged each year to apply for grants to upgrade systems, hardware or equipment, or purchase new ones.
The projects selected for funding were scored by a 27-member panel of judges, court administrators, clerks, information technology professionals, security experts, and other personnel from local courts across the state.
“Lack of up-to-date technology can hinder the effective administration of justice,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said. “This year, the needs of some courts are basic while others leap into information technology, communications upgrades, and case management efficiency.”
“Simply put, courts today are forced to do more and more, and technology can answer those challenges,” the chief justice said. “Also, tech upgrades can save money in the long run and that’s helpful because financial challenges are inherent in operating a court.”
For this sixth annual round of funding, preference was given to projects in this order of priority:
Upgrade of an existing case management system to improve case flow
Upgrade, replacement, or purchase of other technology systems that affect case flow or the fundamental duties of a court
Upgrade, replacement, or improvement of computer hardware or equipment that supports the case management system or other systems that affect case flow or the fundamental duties of a court
Upgrade, replace, and purchase technology systems that support pretrial services
Purchase of any other computer hardware, software or equipment, including projects related to physical security of the court.
A portion of the funds was set aside to fund courtroom or related building security upgrades or equipment installations.
The Ohio Courts Technology Initiative was established to improve the exchange of information and warehousing of data by and between Ohio courts and other justice system partners, an endeavor that includes the Ohio Courts Network.
Including this year, the technology grants from the Supreme Court have helped fund more than 450 projects in Ohio.