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Arizona Judicial Branch

Managing the Judiciary

Arizona Judicial Council

The Arizona Judicial Council was established in 1990 by the Chief Justice. Its purpose is to assist the Supreme Court in developing and implementing policies and procedures for managing the court system by providing:

•Central direction for managing all state courts; 
•Consistency in court operations, and 
•Coordination of court services. 

The Council operates with seven standing committees or commissions:  the Committee on Superior Court, the Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts, the Commission on Minorities, the Committee on Judicial Education, the Commission on Victims in the Courts; the Commission on Technology, and the Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts. 

Arizona Judicial Council Membership

The Chief Justice* chairs the Judicial Council. Other members include:

•The chief judges of the two divisions of the Court of Appeals* 
•Two presiding judges of the superior court-urban (Maricopa and Pima counties)* 
•Two presiding judges of the superior court-rural 
•A magistrate 
•A justice of the peace 
•The Administrative Director of the Courts* 
•The president of the State Bar of Arizona* (or a designee) 
•Nine public members 
•One clerk of the superior court 
•The chair of the Committee on the Superior Court 
•The chair of the Committee on Limited Jurisdiction Courts
•A court administrator 

*Denotes service by virtue of position. All other members are appointed at the discretion of the Chief Justice.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

In the judiciary, the AOC can be thought of as a corporate office and the Supreme Court justices as the board of directors. The AOC, through an administrative director and staff, develops and implements programs to support the work of the court and assists the Chief Justice with administrative duties. The Arizona Constitution provides the authority for this type of support and assistance.

Under the Chief Justice’s direction, the administrative director and the AOC staff provide the necessary support for the supervision and administration of all state courts.

The AOC provides:

•Technical assistance to all courts.
•Research and analysis.
•Assistance in implementing special programs and procedures.
•Assistance in developing and implementing rules and procedures for the courts.
•Training and continuing legal education for all judicial employees.
•Public education and information programs regarding the judiciary.
•Administration and implementation of juvenile justice programs, juvenile probation services, and adult probation services.
•Administration of the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB), which relies on volunteers to review the cases of children in foster care, and the Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA), which uses specially trained volunteers to recommend appropriate case plans and services for children in foster care. 
•Administration of a Confidential Intermediary Program that facilitates searches between adoptees and birth parents.
•Administration of the Parent Assistance Hotline, which provides information to parents whose children have been removed from their homes by the court.
•Administration and support of programs that address domestic violence concerns.
•Administration of court automation systems.
•Administration of juvenile and adult probation.
•Regulation of attorneys and other court-related professions. 

Budgeting, Fund Administration, and Judicial-Legislative Relations
The AOC assists the court system in preparing budgets and seeking funding from the Legislature, recommends or comments on legislation that may affect the judicial department, and handles special projects assigned by the Supreme Court.

The following program funds are administered by the AOC. The source of funding for the programs is state appropriations and court-ordered fees or surcharges.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Fund (ADR) - To establish, maintain, improve, or enhance local, regional, or statewide alternative dispute resolution programs in the courts.
Adult Intensive Probation Supervision Programs Fund (AIPS) - Legislatively appropriated funds provided to the 15 local adult probation departments to supervise high-risk offenders who would otherwise be imprisoned.
Adult Probation Services Fees Fund (PSF) - Funds generated by fees collected from adult probationers, retained locally to be used primarily for probation officers’ salaries.
Case Processing Assistance Fund (CPAF) - To enhance the ability of the courts to process criminal, domestic violence, and delinquency cases and strategic projects that improve case processing.
Community Punishment Programs Fund (CPP) - Comprised of legislatively appropriated funds and monies collected from fines levied against drug offenders for the 15 local adult probation departments. Funds are used to provide an array of community-based treatment or education supervision services.
Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund (CASA) - To provide legislatively appropriated funds for administering local special advocate programs in each county. Local special advocate programs recruit volunteers who are appointed by a juvenile court judge in dependency cases to work in a child’s best interest.
Court Improvement Program Fund - Comprised of legislatively appropriated funds to enhance the juvenile courts’ ability to process dependency cases.
Court Reporters Fund – The fund that covers the administration of the court reporter certification and discipline, and registration of court reporting firms.  There are about 440 court reporters across Arizona.  This program is intended to be self-supporting. 
Drug Enforcement Account Fund (DEA) - State funds used by court agencies to process drug or drug-related offenders through the judicial system. Funds are used for adjudication, probation, and indigent defense services.
Drug Treatment Education Fund (DTEF) - Fund created by the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996, which is used for the treatment and education of substance abusing adult probationers convicted of personal possession or use of a controlled substance.
Family Counseling Programs Fund - Legislatively appropriated funds are provided to all 15 counties on a 4-to-1 state/county match. Funds are used to strengthen family relationships and prevent juvenile delinquency.
Fill the Gap Fund - Allocates funds to counties for planning and implementing collaborative projects that are designed to improve the processing of criminal cases.
Judicial Assistance Fund - Legislatively appropriated funds to provide for judges pro tempore in the superior courts and retired judges and justices for the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court on a short-term, emergency basis. Order of appointment by the Chief Justice is required. Funds are extremely limited.
Judicial Collection Enhancement Fund (JCEF) - Grant funds used to improve court collections and automation and the general administration of justice.
Judicial Education Fund - Legislatively appropriated funds to provide for individual judges to travel out of state for educational training. Funds are extremely limited.
Juvenile Crime Reduction Fund (JCRF) - Legislatively appropriated funds for prevention and intervention programs and projects designed to reduce juvenile crime.
Juvenile Intensive Probation Supervision Program Fund (JIPS) - Legislatively appropriated funds to divert high-risk juveniles from the Arizona Department of Corrections or other out-of-home placements.
Juvenile Probation Services Fees Fund - Funds are generated by fees collected from juvenile probationers and retained locally to be used primarily for probation officers’ salaries.
Juvenile Standard Probation Program Fund - Legislatively appropriated funds to subsidize juvenile probation services statewide in order to maintain the statutory ratio of juvenile probationers to probation officers at 35-to-1.
Juvenile Treatment and Services Fund (JTSF) - Legislatively appropriated funds that include both the Progressively Increasing Consequences Fund (Diversion) and the Juvenile Treatment Services Fund. The Progressively Increasing Consequences Fund provides the opportunity for youth to be held accountable for specific offenses without the formal court process. Youth are required to attend programs that emphasize accountability, restitution, skill development, crime reduction, and community safety. The Juvenile Treatment Fund is the primary fund providing intervention services for youth on probation. The fund provides the resources to assist the probation officer in enforcing the terms of probation through a comprehensive continuum of services.
National Criminal History Improvement Fund Project (NCHIP) - Provides federal monies for eliminating backlog in disposition reporting of criminal offenses, thereby improving the state’s criminal history records. NCHIP is received in a grant to courts through the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission.
Private Fiduciary and Confidential Intermediary - Funds the confidential intermediary program established pursuant to A.R.S. § 8-134 and performing the duties related to private fiduciaries pursuant to A.R.S. § 14-565l.
Public Defender Training Fund (PDTF) - Provides funds for county public defender training. 
State Aid Detention Fund (SAD) - Established to provide state assistance to counties in maintaining, expanding, and operating juvenile detention centers.
State Aid Enhancement Fund (SAE) - Legislatively appropriated funds to subsidize adult probation services statewide in order to maintain the statutory ratio of adult probationers to probation officers at 60-to-1.
State Grand Jury Fund - Legislatively appropriated funds to reimburse grand jury expenses.
Traffic Case Processing Fund (TCPF) - Funds used to expedite the processing of all offenses prescribed in Title 28, Chapter 6, Articles 2-15. (See A.R.S. § 28-3398.)
State Aid to Courts Fund and Local Courts Assistance Funds - Funds used to assist superior court and justice courts improve their criminal case processing.
Municipal Court Allocation Fund - Funds used to improve, maintain, and enhance the ability to collect and manage monies assessed or received by the municipal courts, to improve court automation, and to improve case processing or the administration of justice.