Bench & Bar

JAN 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 34 C hief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. gave the legislature an update during his State of the Judiciary Address on Oct. 20, 2017, on how the Judicial Branch is handling the complex issues facing the court system. "As we meet today, the challenges before us are many," he said. "We're grappling to keep up with rapid technological and social developments. e opioid epidemic has expanded court caseloads and altered Drug Court treatment in ways we couldn't have imagined even a few years ago. And like many other state courts, juvenile justice reform and pretrial justice reform are among our top priorities. ese forces have led us to put aside business practices that no longer work and adopt new practices that meet today's needs." ese comments were part of the annual State of the Judiciary address before the General Assembly's Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. e full address can be found at Minton_SOJ_102017.pdf. PRETRIAL JUSTICE REFORM & CHANGES TO PRETRIAL SERVICES RISK ASSESSMENT Chief Justice Minton began by noting that Kentucky Pretrial Services continues to lead the way as a national wave of pretrial justice reform propels changes to prevent bail systems from penalizing the poor. "In 1976, Kentucky was one of the first states in the country to abolish bail bonding for profit," he said. "Our leadership continues today as AOC managers share their expertise with pretrial programs in dozens of states each year. e goals of pretrial release are to ensure public safety by determining which people should be released and which people should stay in jail, and to help ensure that those released come back to court." He said that pretrial officers apply a validated risk assessment to determine a defendant's risk of failure to appear or to be arrested again, and that the Administrative Office of the Courts continues to refine that process. "To improve our risk assessment accuracy, the AOC has restructured the Department of Pretrial Services to include a team of risk assessment specialists and coordinators. We have also revised the scoring process and we believe this change will significantly increase the accuracy of the scoring." FINANCIAL INCENTIVE FUND He said the AOC is working closely with the Kentucky Justice & Public Safety Cabinet and the Department of Juvenile Justice to launch the financial incentive fund. Senate Bill 200 requires the savings realized from juvenile justice reform to be reinvested into an incen- tive fund for programs that supervise low-risk youth. e AOC will support the incentive fund by acting as the fiscal agent, providing technical assistance for grant applications, and collecting and reporting the data required from judicial districts. Chief Justice Minton Uses 2017 State of the Judiciary Address to Explain How Judicial Branch is Working to Meet Demands On Today's Court System BY: LEIGH ANNE HIATT, APR, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER BAR NEWS

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