Goal 2: Maintaining a Professional Workforce and Improving Operational Efficiencies
Maintaining a professional workforce and improving operational efficiencies are essential to achieving excellence. Judicial Branch leadership must continuously examine and improve not only the systems, processes, and procedures used to deliver justice to Arizonans, but also the competency and professionalism of those who do the courts’ work. The courts value and encourage diversity and treat all people with courtesy, respect, fairness, and dignity.
2A Maintaining a Professional Workforce
The Judicial Branch must continue the professional development of judges and court employees to ensure that they adhere to the highest standards of competence, conduct, integrity, professionalism, and accountability. Arizona’s robust ethnic and cultural diversity require that the courts and court employees be culturally aware. The courts must strive for a justice system in Arizona that is free from actual or perceived bias of any kind.
- Enhance training for judges and court employees.
- Develop court leaders:
- Implement the revised Court Management Program and Fellowship Certification Program, and
- Revive the Court Leadership Institute of Arizona.
- Develop a training program for limited jurisdiction court supervisors.
- Develop an ongoing training program that provides court employees with the knowledge necessary to properly process cases and to operate the case, document, and financial management systems.
- Expand cultural awareness and sensitivity training for judges, court staff, probation officers, and volunteers.
- Adopt an updated Employee Code of Conduct.
- Modernize the current probation academy curriculum to introduce and instill evidencebased principles.
- Study the feasibility of a middlemanagement program for probation officers.
- Increase the flexibility, frequency, and cost effectiveness of training:
- Form partnerships with universities and colleges, and
- Develop distancelearning technologies.
2B Improving Operational Efficiencies
One of the most effective ways to ensure justice free from political influence is to have a consistent and reliable source of funding. The economic downturn has resulted in increased case filings, just as the resources available to the courts are diminishing. The loss of resources poses new and extraordinary challenges as courts strive to preserve fundamental rights and continue to perform statutory and constitutional duties.
The physical environment in which court services are provided must be free from threats to safety, and courts must be prepared to continue or resume operations in the event of disasters and epidemics.
- Explore methods to provide more consistent, stable funding for the court system to offset economic ups and downs:
- Hold a summit to consider reliable funding sources, and
- Explore alternative methods for funding court facilities and operations.
- Improve and enhance security in the courts and probation offices to protect the public, witnesses, victims, jurors, and court personnel:
- Update “continuity of operations” plans,
- Develop a communications network for security personnel,
- Provide additional training to court security personnel and explore the benefits of a court security certification program,
- Assist in developing a safety contingency plan for courts that do not have regular security staff, and
- Survey and review the current status of security in probation offices.
- Encourage all court operations, construction, and technology to be as energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable as possible. Look for opportunities to reduce overall energy costs.