Champaign County Court is Innovative Court Practices Award Winner
The Champaign County Common Pleas Court, General Division is this year’s winner of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Judicial Administration and Legal Reform Committee’s Innovative Court Practices Award for its Managing Jail Population and Overages project.
The award was presented on Sept. 3 at the annual meeting of the Ohio Judicial Conference in Columbus.
With the cost of jail overages totaling more than $3 million in prior years, Champaign County Common Pleas Court Judge Nick Selvaggio set out to reduce those costs.
Judge Selvaggio commented, “We needed a solution to a jail overage problem, so I assembled a new staff, modified office practices to reduce the time it takes to process offenders, instituted the daily evaluation of why an offender is in jail, and made greater use of electronic ankle monitors. I credit the detention and sentencing practices of Municipal Court Judge Gil S. Weithman for sharing my vision in reforming the way our jail is utilized in Champaign County, as well as our local jail officials for modifying their transport policies.”
By monitoring and reducing the number of days between the filing of a sentencing journal entry and transporting a defendant to an institution, the court has reduced the county’s potential exposure to jail costs to about $54,000 for two years.
“The Champaign County Common Pleas Court’s impressive accomplishment is a credit to Judge Selvaggio’s willingness to be proactive in measuring performance, and, with support from his able staff, to act quickly and decisively to improve the system,” OSBA President John D. Holschuh Jr. said. “It’s a fine example of creative problem-solving that truly serves the administration of justice.”