Grant to improve court technology | News, Sports, Jobs

By on May 25, 2021 0

Linda Harris UPGRADES – Steubenville Municipal Court Judge John Mascio standing and court administrator Elizabeth Vergitz say upgrades to their court management software are expected to begin by the summer. The upgrade, funded by a $ 95,650 grant from the Ohio Supreme Court, will take approximately 13 weeks to implement.

STEUBENVILLE – The Ohio Supreme Court has awarded the Steubenville Municipal Court more than $ 95,650 to strengthen its case management software.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said the funds were made available through the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative, established to facilitate information exchange and data warehousing by and between courts in Ohio and other justice system partners, in order to provide technology goods and services to the courts, to function. the Commission on Technology and the Courts, and to assist in the orderly adoption and full use of technology in the courts of Ohio.

City judge John Mascio said he had received three other SCO grants since 2016, but this one is certainly the most important: he said the three previous SCO grants provided them with around $ 18,000 to implement an electronic citation system. , allowing police officers to submit citations electronically, an electronic payment system that allows offenders to pay fines and fees online, and software updates.

“I thought they would give us some of what we asked for and that we had to (get the rest) from our IT fund,” he said, admitting that he was “surprised” that the software upgrade will be paid for in full with grants.

“I am truly grateful to the Ohio Supreme Court for funding the projects we are proposing,” he said. “I think it’s important to recognize that for small communities, like Steubenville, it’s very difficult for us financially to find the money we need to move forward and move the courts forward. The grant money allows us to do everything the courts do in big cities, stay on top of things, and make sure we operate efficiently.

The upgraded software will provide users with the industry standard for security, stability and scalability, along with a host of new features to streamline functionality and improve workflow. It will feature continuous updates and fraud protection.

Court administrator Elizabeth Vergitz said the new system will be more intuitive and make more information available to court staff. They’ll be able to see at a glance what cases are open, for example, and when they try to check for record locks, the new software will alert them to all of the topic’s warrants.

“A lot of people passing through here have a lot of cases, and if they want to come and pay (their fines and fees) now, we’ll have to log in separately for each case,” said Vergitz, who drafted the grant application. With the new system, “We can receive a payment of $ 1,000 and allocate it to all files at once, rather than dealing with them individually. This will make things easier at the counter. “

Mascio said the upgrade would allow them to completely overhaul the court’s software.

“The court management system is really the brain of the operation, all cases are loaded into the system”, he said. “It tracks everything from pending cases to (a defendant’s) payment history or criminal history. It’s enormous.”

Their current software vendor, Civica CMI inglewood, Ohio, will perform the upgrade. Vergitz said she will know later this week when they start, “But it will take 13 weeks from start to finish” to implement changes and train staff.

Because the project is fully funded, Mascio said he would be able to use the funds they saved for upgrading the computer to fix other issues, like upgrading the computer. audio system.

“These grants are important for small communities”, he said. “It’s not just here the Supreme Court is doing them all over the state of Ohio. They really want to make sure that we have the resources we need to run an effective operation. “

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