STATE OF JUDICIARY FOCUSES ON MAKING ARIZONA’S CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES SAFE
On Monday, March 21, 2011, Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch provided the“2011 State of the Judiciary” to a joint session of the Arizona Legislature.
In the address, Chief Justice Berch touted the work of the courts over the past twelve months and highlighted the Judiciary’s efforts to protect children, families, communities. She outlined programs and projects in the areas of adult probation, probate matters, and the protection of children in Arizona foster system, as well as provided a summary of the court's annual accomplishments.
The accomplishments included making great strides in improving the legal profession by implementing new attorney discipline rules and establishing the Office of Presiding Disciplinary Judge and the state’s first steps toward establishing statewide e-filing, an online court filing system that will make it easier for citizens to access justice.
Berch highlighted two focus areas within Arizona’s Adult Probation Division:
- The court’s efforts in the area of probation revocations and crime reduction;
- And, the deportation of individuals who are in this country illegally and have been convicted of a felony.
She also discussed efforts to improve the state’s probate court system. The focus areas included:
- Enhance transparency in the system;
- Reduce and control fees;
- Close loopholes for those who seek to do harm or unduly profit from the system; and
- Provide enhanced protection for those who are vulnerable.
The Court Appointed Special Advocate Program celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2010. Highlights of that program included:
- Assisting 15,000 children in foster care;
- Training nearly 5000 volunteers to be the “eyes and ears” of the court;
- And, the donation of more than a million volunteer hours, which saved the state millions of dollars.
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