State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels and Operating Expenses: Over the past four years, and in this fiscal year, the number of judges and the number of central office staff has largely been static.
Compensation: Over the past four years, the salaries of state court staff persons have been affected by a freeze, delays in increases, and/or caps on increases.
Service Reductions: Over the past four years, the Pennsylvania courts have delayed filling judicial vacancies and vacancies in judicial support positions. Senior judge usage increased due to not filling judicial vacancies. Because of statutory payment restrictions, some jurists have served gratis beyond the monthly allocation caps.
Restructuring: The Pennsylvania courts plan in this fiscal year to consolidate a number of minor court districts, which will result in reallocating staff. It also plans to review methodologies to right-size the number of trial court judges based upon weighted caseload.
Business Processes: The Pennsylvania courts have implemented an enhanced case flow management program and have implemented videoconferencing of incarcerated defendants.
Centralization: The Pennsylvania courts have implemented a centralized call center. The center responds to questions from users of the various case management and web-based systems.
The Pennsylvania courts are in a worse position than four years ago to provide access and timely justice. They are “holding their own” despite increasing financial constrictions.
Reports and Articles
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