Innovative programs in 11 California courts -
including a homeless court, an arts project and an electronic filing
program for small claims - received the 2001 Ralph N. Kleps Award
for Improvement in Administration of the Courts.
The programs were selected from among 59
nominations and were judged on four criteria: they are innovative,
transferable to other courts, have operated for at least one year and
improved the administration of the courts.
The family and juvenile court facilities of the
Contra Costa County Superior Court have 75 permanently fixed displays
to rotate the artwork of children who are the subjects of court
proceedings associated with custody dependency and delinquency.
In Ventura County, a homeless court offers an
alternative sentencing mechanism for homeless individuals to resolve
outstanding minor offenses through community service rather than
fines. Mental health professionals also offer housing referrals and
access to medication for those with mental health needs.
The unified family court in Yolo County uses as
its court clinician a private practice therapist to help children with
mental health needs resulting from the issues that bring their family
The Sacramento County Superior Court offers
customers a fully automated program to create new small claims case
filings by answering a series of questions on computers located at the
courthouse. The program was modified for the internet and now includes
extensive online "help" functions that address legal questions and
offer procedural guidance.
The other winners are: Court of Appeal, Third
Appellate District, outreach program at local high schools; Superior
Court of San Joaquin County Court-Community Leadership and Liaison
Program; Los Angeles Superior Court Find Arbitrator Mediator
Electronically (FAME); San Diego Superior Court F.O.C.U.S. Program -
monitoring court performance using a balanced scorecard (finances,
operations, customers and use of staff); Juvenile Delinquency Domestic
Violence/Family Violence Court of Santa Clara Superior Court; the
superior courts of Sacramento and Amador counties for their
internet/intranet systems; and the superior courts of Stanislaus, San
Benito and Mariposa counties for their Center Courts Regional Training