Georgia Courts Receives Funding From The U.S. Bailout Bill To Clear The Backlog Of Cases With A Focus On Serious Violent Crime – Americus Times Recorder
Atlanta – Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice David E. Nahmias announced today that Governor Brian P. Kemp has allocated up to $ 110 million in federal funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help clear arrears from legal proceedings to eliminate, especially in cases of serious violent crime.
“Most of our state’s government agencies and corporations slowed or stopped during the COVID pandemic,” said Georgia Justice Council chairman Nahmias. “The meals that restaurants didn’t serve are never served, and the airline’s canceled flights have not been postponed. But above all the court cases that could not be decided
if jury trials cannot be safely held, they will remain pending and must be resolved along with any newly filed cases. So we really appreciate the Governor’s allocation of ARPA funding to help the justice system deal with the backlog and get the courts on which our citizens and businesses depend on back on track. “
The governor’s allocation of grants to eligible courts, prosecutors and affiliated agencies comes from ARPA funds of $ 4.8 billion given to the state of Georgia to mitigate negative economic impacts from the COVID-19 emergency in the area public health. The Georgian judiciary operated under a nationwide emergency judicial order from March 2020 to June 2021, and the necessary restrictions on court operations to protect the health of those working in and visiting courthouses during that period resulted in a significant backlog in criminal and civil proceedings , especially in such, requires that a jury be decided. Since the emergency court order expired on June 30, 2021, the courts have stepped up their efforts to resolve cases, but the ongoing pandemic continues to limit the pace and scope of judicial proceedings as public health measures remain in place. This ARPA funding will enable eligible courts, prosecutors and related agencies to hire additional staff and acquire temporary jobs and courtroom facilities to help clear the backlog of cases. However, given the public safety impact of these cases and the significant burdens they place on the judicial system, clearing the backlog of serious violent crimes is a priority in state courts across the state. Serious violent crimes include murder, armed robbery,
Kidnapping, rape, aggravated child abuse, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery.
The Georgia Justice Council, which serves as the policy-making body for the judiciary, has established the Ad Hoc Bailout Bill Funding Committee to oversee the application process for grants to eligible courts, prosecutors and related agencies. Georgia Supreme Court. Presiding Judge Michael P. Boggs will serve as chairman of the committee and the Justice Council Courts Administrative Office will facilitate the grant application, award, compliance and reporting processes. The funds must be spent by December 31, 2024.
“We look forward to distributing these funds as soon as possible to help our courts deal with the backlog of serious violent crime cases, which will help improve public safety,” said Presiding Judge Boggs. Further information on funding requirements, application deadlines and contact information can be found at https://jcaoc.georgiacourts.gov/.