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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: December 2019

It is reported that Clark County graduation rates are on the rise for the second year. The District Court Truancy Diversion/Keeping Kids in School program has been working with the Clark County School District and other community organizations  toward the goal of improving graduation rates to ensure a brighter future for students in Clark County.

The Eighth Judicial District Court administers the Truancy Diversion Program (TDP) in collaboration with the Clark County School District (CCSD), the Nevada State Public Charter School and the Achievement School District. More than 1,600 students participated in the truancy diversion program in the 2017/2018 school year. The Truancy Diversion Program uses volunteers who motivate students to stay in school and graduate. The volunteers visit their designated school accompanied by a TDP facilitator for approximately three hours each week to hold truancy court sessions at schools. They promote and support academic achievement using a team approach to an individual student success plan involving students and their parents. They review the students’ attendance, school work, and progress to ensure that they have the resources needed to be successful.

Keeping Kids in School Summits hosted by the Eighth Judicial District Court, the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority and the Clark County School District have been held over the past two years to bring those involved in education, justice and youth services together to cover techniques to safeguard the rights of vulnerable youth.

District Court Judge William Voy currently oversee the TDP. “As a judge who hears juvenile cases, I see firsthand the importance of education and graduation,” said Judge Voy. “The Truancy Diversion Program has proven to be an effective, non-punitive, incentive-based approach to re-engage at-risk students with truancy problems. It is a proactive way to prevent and reduce youth crime and avert potential costs to our welfare and justice systems.”

Related articles:

Nevada, Clark County high school graduation rates increase

https://www.reviewjournal.com/post/1912537

Juvenile Judge tells Truancy Diversion Program volunteers, “Every kid you touch is probably one less kid that I see.”

http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/juvenile-judge-tells-truancy-diversion-program-volunteers-every-kid-you-touch-is-probably-one-less-kid-that-i-see/

Clark County educators and justice professionals take action to keep kids in school and out of the justice system

https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1xN

As school year winds down those who motivate students to graduate to be recognized

https://wp.me/p1tnuA-1sE

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“The 8th JDC is operating a coordinated family division model at a scale that places it in a league of its own based on the breadth of case types it oversees,” reports the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges after an eight-month evaluation of the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division. “Many challenges exist but NCJJ also documented a parade of strengths that other jurisdictions could benefit from emulating.” 

The independent evaluation was significant, with site-specific findings and recommendations for the Eighth Judicial District Court that include:

  • “The 8th JD Family Division is a progressive jurisdiction with regard to the use of administrative data systems and technology. They are enabling the generation of judicial orders in the courtroom, implementing 1J/1F case assignment, online dispute resolution and online TPO filing and strategies to enable judges/judicial teams to compose court orders for routine hearings and distribute at the conclusion of the hearing. It is the first jurisdiction that NCJJ has encountered with the capacity to use its data systems and information technology capacity to explore the inter-relationships of cases for families with multiple legal matters presented to the court over time. We view this strength as critical for operating Nevada’s coordinated family division model in a large, rapidly growing jurisdiction.”
  • “The commitment to provide non-adversarial procedures for family case resolution is strong in the 8th JDC, with a vision to meet the needs of families that are increasingly comfortable with online applications and dispute resolution tools.”
  • “The 8th JDC Family Division is exceptionally busy and operating at a lean staffing level when compared to other comparably sized jurisdictions such as family courts serving Kings County (Brooklyn) and Queens County in New York City, which have up to twice the overall judicial offer resource to hear similar range of case types. Nonetheless, the court’s leadership over the past five years is addressing the points of greatest stress. Sometimes the efforts are locally driven and other times they are in coordination with the Supreme Court of Nevada.”
  • “The pressures of an antiquated facility footprint designed for a jurisdiction half its current size is undeniable for Clark County. Family division administration is focused on extending the facility life and addressing safety concerns, while addressing the space allocation for self-represented parties and temporary protective order triage. During interviews, there were many critics and legitimate concerns, but the NCJJ team left with the impression that the court administration is focused on solutions until a long-term decision is made.”

“This assessment confirms that the Family Division is doing great work and implementing innovative programs that provide for the effective and efficient administration of justice,” said Presiding Family Division Judge Bryce Duckworth. “The assessment acknowledges that our Family Division is exceptionally busy and operating at ‘a lean staffing level when compared to other comparatively sized jurisdictions’ and notes that the Court’s leadership is ‘addressing the points of greatest stress.’ We should be proud of the work that is performed in the Family Division of the Eighth Judicial District Court. Nevertheless, we welcome the constructive feedback offered in the assessment and recognize the need to continue to look for ways to improve the services that we offer families in our community. We look forward to addressing the challenges identified in the full report and the site-specific findings and recommendations.”

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Nevada policy makers had a vision for addressing the needs of families in court in a coordinated manner. After a referendum on an amendment to the state Constitution, an ambitious coordinated family division model in judicial districts serving populations over 100, 000 people was implemented. The goal of the recent independent evaluation, conducted between January and August of this year in Clark and Washoe counties, was to determine if family court was meeting expectations of families and lawmakers, following state and local courts rules, and resolving legal disputes timely and effectively. Research was done through phone interviews, electronic surveys, and site visits.  To download the full report, visit https://nvcourts.link/FamilyDivisionAssessment.  According to the report, “There is a commitment to make sure that the case of the most vulnerable especially children are a priority for resource allocations.”

“The findings from this independent evaluation demonstrate that despite population increase and tremendous caseload growth that have stressed resources, through strategic evaluation, planning, work, commitment and effective use of technology the Eighth Judicial District Family Division has made great progress and is viewed as model for other courts. The study also makes apparent  there is a crucial  need to upgrade facilities to maintain adequate service to the public,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “I applaud the work that has been accomplished by judges and staff to ensure that the community is being served in an effective and efficient manner that is in the best interests of families, especially given the less than optimum facilities and short staffing.”

The study was conducted over eight months by the research division of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The study’s purpose was to identify the high-level areas in which the coordinated family division operating models for juvenile and family law are meeting legislative goals.

The NCJJ study affirms that Nevada has a unique and ambitious vision for how courts should work for families in crisis. Nevada’s coordinated family division model brought together over 20 different case types in the juvenile and family law areas under one roof. The charge is to coordinate everything from divorces and child custody and child support, through child abuse and neglect matters and delinquency, to adult and juvenile guardianships, name changes and involuntary mental health commitment hearings.

The National Center for Juvenile Justice, located in Pittsburgh, Penn., is the oldest juvenile justice research group in the U.S., having conducted national and sub-national studies on crime and delinquency since 1973.

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