Report highlights commitment to improving service to the public

With a focus on successful initiatives to improve service to the public, the Michigan Supreme Court recently released  its 2015 Annual Report. The report highlights reforms to measure and report on court performance, increase access, improve efficiency, and save money in Michigan’s judicial branch.

“Michigan’s judiciary has become a national leader in reforms to make the public the focus of our service,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. “This report tells the story of how we have improved service to our customers while at the same time trimmed the size of the judiciary and improved efficiency.”

Specifically, the report details accomplishments with respect to three strategic objectives that have been the focus of reform efforts:  measuring performance to improve outcomes; implementing technology to increase access and efficiency; and reengineering courts to streamline operations and save money.  Key accomplishments from the annual report include:

• 2015 marked the third consecutive year of extremely positive reviews from court customers in the annual trial court public satisfaction survey. The vast majority of 75,000 court users surveyed over the past three years said they were treated with dignity and respect, that service was timely, and that their cases were handled fairly.

• Michigan leads the nation with 22 veterans treatment courts that help men and women who have served our country access needed services to address their problems and avoid costly incarceration.

• Implementation of videoconferencing technology in more than 600 courtrooms statewide saved the Michigan Department of Corrections more than $3 million in 2015 by allowing for “virtual transports” of prisoners to routine court hearings.

• Rightsizing of the judiciary to match workloads has already trimmed 26 of 40 planned reductions in judgeships, saving taxpayers more than $10 million since 2011. A net reduction of 6 more seats was recommended in 2015.

“More courts than ever are sharing resources, breaking down silos and working together.  We are measuring more and using data to drive more decisions,” said Young.  “Every judge in the state is subject to performance standards and every court publishes its performance results.  My colleagues and I are very proud of the resulting record of continuous improvement.”

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