1st DISTRICT COURT GOALS and OBJECTIVES
In 1968, Public Act No. 236 established 1st District Court within the state as a court of record. “The state is divided into judicial districts of the district court, each of which is an administrative unit subject to the superintending control of the Supreme Court.” 1st District Court, as part of the Michigan Judicial branch of government, operates pursuant to Michigan statutes and court rules within the local jurisdiction of Monroe County.
1st District Court-Monroe County has a three Judge bench and employs the services of its own Clerk’s Office in order to fulfill its mission statement of resolving civil and criminal matters in a fair, efficient manner, while furthering its goal of total accountability to the public and its funding unit.
In 1980, 1st District Court-Probation Department was formed which allowed the Court to provide a cost-effective alternative to incarceration while protecting public safety. Along these lines in 1994, 1st District Court created its own Day Report program affording non-violent offenders the opportunity to intermediate sanctions. In 1997, the Court created a Pre-Trial Services program in order to screen and supervise all appropriate offenders, posing no threat to the community, who qualify to be placed under Pre-Trial Services supervised release on conditions of bond. In 2000, 1st District Court instituted the Jail Alternative Work Service (JAWS) Program. This is a self-funded program. Qualified defendants pay $10.00 per day to participate in community work projects in lieu of jail. JAWS punishes defendants by depriving them of free time and deters future criminal conduct while benefiting the community at large. In 2001, the Court in conjunction with Monroe Community College developed a four-hour Defensive Driving Course (DDC-4). This course is designed to present defensive driving techniques in an interactive format
to first time offenders as another part of 1st District Court’s sentencing alternatives. The cost to Monroe County to house a jail inmate is $75.00 per day. With the above 1st District Court programs, the jail population is reduced resulting in savings to the taxpayers for jail operations and making space available for violent offenders.
Beginning in 2004, the Court launched its collections program in order to target ninety (90) days or older outstanding receivables. This effort is resulting in a stronger compliance of recovering those fines and costs assessments normally inactive as an outstanding receivable and creating a new revenue stream. 2004 was the first full year the 1st District Court took over the maintenance of its own Court Appointed Attorneys (CAA). By the Court operating and collecting its own accounts, there has been a dramatic decrease in the CAA expenditure line item and a dramatic increase in reimbursed CAA fees. This collection trend has continued to date.
The Goals and Objectives of 1st District Court for the years 2009-2010 remain five part:
¨ To continue to utilize the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court Administrative Office as legislative mandates are established.
¨ To train its employees as efficiently and economically when new legislation is introduced, amended or mandated.
¨ To strive forward in implementing technology into its operations as it becomes feasible and applicable such as expanding court services via an e-government environment.
¨ To continue to maintain a high level of competent service to the citizens it serves.
¨ To work towards developing and implementing a mental health diversion program within the county.
1st District Court will achieve these goals and objectives by maintaining a successful administration among the chief district judge and district judges and the Court’s management team. These achievements may be measured by the responsible operation of its annual budgets and by maintaining the expected levels of court services provided within its judicial region in the State of Michigan.