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NCJ Number: 201294 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of Utah Court Improvement Project Reforms and Best Practices: Results and Recommendations
Corporate Author: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
United States of America
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 145
Sponsoring Agency: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Reno, NV 89507
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 96-CT-NX-0001
Sale Source: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report evaluates the recent improvements implemented in Utah’s family and juvenile courts under the Utah Court Improvement Project (CIP).
Abstract: As a result of legislative changes that sharply increased the responsibilities of the Utah juvenile and family courts, Utah courts explored new procedures for improving case processing. The research presented in this report was designed to provide the Utah CIP with an evaluation of its progress in implementing reform measures. The data capture district and statewide court operations, and specifically address eight main research questions. The eight research questions address issues of timeliness, numbers of closed cases versus total cases, statutory requirements concerning court attendance, concurrent planning issues, documentation of reasonable efforts findings, number and circumstances of delays and continuances, timing of reviews, and best practices. The main findings, summarized throughout the report, are detailed for each of the research questions and recommendations are made for improvement. The evaluation found that overall, the Utah Juvenile Court is compliant with statutory and Federal time requirements, with compliance rates increasing over the past year. The evaluators recommend that when mandated time frames are not met, the court order and court file should clearly indicate the reason. The second finding revealed that Utah courts are increasing the numbers of cases closed. The recommendation is the improvement of documentation of case closures. The third finding revealed that overall, those required to be at court hearings were indeed present. The recommendation is that the case files should include better documentation of notice to parties. The fourth finding indicated that a concurrent plan was only documented in 7 percent of the reviewed cases. It is recommended that concurrent planning needs improved documentation. The fifth finding shows that in only 26 percent of the cases were reasonable efforts findings documented. Recommendations include ensuring that reasonable efforts findings are case specific and appropriately detailed. The sixth and seventh findings are related and reveal that delay in court hearings is not a major problem in Utah courts. The recommendation is that the next court date be set and stated in open court. The seventh finding showed that over 80 percent of cases had at least one review hearing. The recommendation is that courts improve their tracking of aggregate data. The eighth finding details best practices in Utah courts.
Main Term(s): Court studies; State courts
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Court reform; Family courts; Juvenile court reform; Utah
Note: Technical Assistance Bulletin Volume 7, No. 1, April 2003
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