Budget

In 2018 Pennsylvania courts reduced the number of childern in care by 4,300, reduced the number of days in care by 951,000, saved more than $40 million in federel, state and county dollars.  Utilized social media outreach campaign to educate the public about protection orders. The campaign included digital ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google, pointing users to detailed step-by-step videos available in both English and Spanish on how to file protection orders. The campaign was federally funded by the STOP Grant program through the U.S Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.  Facilitated 40,443 requests for interpreters.  Designed and developed the Guardianship Teacking System which protects vulnerable citizens by improving how the courts monitor legal guardians and simplifying the filing process.

Funding Sources.  Since 2009, fee revenue has been used to fund a portion of the judiciary’s annual budget, currently about 13% of the total.  Total judicial budget request.$487.3 million.  The judiciary receives about ½ of 1% of the state budget.   Saving Tax Dollars  The judiciary is committed to spending taxpayer dollars wisely, and has saved over $10 million in the past year.  Over the past 11 years, the judiciary has saved $102.4 million.

Senior Judge Assignments Fall.  A two-year pilot program began in July 2018 to review the use of senior judges within the Courts of Common Pleas, using data from the Judicial Needs Assessment (JNA).  Comparing month-to-month data from 2017-2018, the period of July to October saw a more than 12% decrease in the number of assignments.  The JNA is also available for use in helping to determine whether county judicial complements are appropriate.  Senior judge assignments saw a more than 12% decrease from July to October, 2017 to 2018.  Collections Rise  Collecting fines, fees, costs and restitution is a priority for the judiciary – with $483 million collected in 2018 alone.  These dollars flow back into the state budget and Pennsylvania communities, and to victims of crimes.  Over the past 10 years, the judiciary has  collected $4.65 billion.

AOPC IT - Leading the way in court technology.   Pennsylvania continues to be a leader in judicial computerization and has been recognized for making court information significantly more accessible, improving collection of fines, fees, costs and restitution and enhancing administrative efficiencies throughout the court system.   Funded by revenues derived from court costs, filing fees and designated fines, rather than tax dollars, AOPC/IT creates, maintains and updates statewide case management systems for all three levels of Pennsylvania’s courts (Appellate, Common Pleas and Magisterial District courts).  Local court officials are able to access court case information about parties related to cases anywhere in the state. Most importantly, the systems are linked, allowing millions of cases to be shared as each case moves through the court system.  2.7 million cases were docketed in 2018 utilizing our three case management systems the Magisterial District Judge System (MDJS), the Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS) and Pennsylvania’s Appellate Court Case Management System (PACMS).  100 million docket sheets were viewed for free via the UJS web portal in 2018.  38,000 law enforcement and public safety officials representing more than 20 criminal justice partners and law enforcement agencies depend on the case management systems to perform their daily duties.  Over 470 law enforcement entities are e-filing traffic citations, parking citations and criminal complaints. This cuts down on the time needed to complete traffic stops, thereby improving safety and accuracy, and saving court staff thousands of hours a year. Testing continues to add the ability for law enforcement to e-file non-traffic citations as well.  Over 110 new law enforcement agencies started to electronically file one or a combination of traffic citations, parking citations and criminal complaints in 2018.  207,000 electronic case transfers from the MDJS to the CPCMS during 2018 saved county court staff hours by eliminating the need for redundant data entry.

Problem-Solving Courts  In 2017 1,576 participants graduated successfully from problem-solving court programs.  32,506 hours of community service completed by problem-solving court participants.  541 became employed between admission and discharge.  378 of the participants discharged in 2017 improved their level of education between time of admission and discharge.  Breaking New Ground in Judicial Education   Pennsylvania judges attended 37,672 total hours of continuing education.  Topics of judicial education: Autism, Bail, Fairness and Access, Mental Health, PFAs, Security, Self-Representation and Trauma