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Case Study – County Court Transforms Juvenile Justice System

The Challenge

The judges and administrators of a county juvenile court system were frustrated. Caseloads were increasing, and it was taking up to 6 months before an offender saw a judge. Court officials knew that a key to lowering the juvenile crime rate was to intervene quickly and positively in the youth’s life to discourage future offenses. They knew that they needed some creative solutions to this problem that could be implemented quickly and inexpensively.

What PCG Did

PCG worked with the courts to assemble a team of judges, probation officers, prosecuting attorneys, counselors, and clerks that created a mission: reduce the time from offense to court appearance to less than 41 days. PCG led the team to document the current work flows, and identify and analyze inefficiencies and bottlenecks. Together we brainstormed on better ways to perform the work and best serve the juveniles and their families. Our recommendation included targeted improvements, new procedures, redefined roles, and a transition plan to implement quickly.

The Results

Today, juvenile offenders in the county are placed on an appropriate path at intake. They spend more time with counselors and probation officers, and their scheduled initial court dates dropped from 6 months to 41 days. Court officials are energized by the fact that they are helping more juveniles in trouble and spending less time pushing paper.

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Last modified: November 24, 2004