STEUBENVILLE – The Ohio Supreme Court has awarded the Steubenville Municipal Court more than $ 95,650 for improving its case management software.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said the funds were provided through the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative, which was set up to facilitate the exchange of information and data storage by and between courts in Ohio and other partners in the justice system in order to identify technology goods and – to provide and operate the Courts and Technology Commission and to assist in the proper adoption and widespread use of technology in Ohio courts.
City Judge John Mascio said they have received three more SCO grants since 2016, but this one is definitely the largest: he said the previous three SCO grants gave them about $ 18,000 to implement an e-citation Systems provided that police officers can use to submit quotes electronically, an e-pay system that allows criminals to pay fines and costs online, and software updates.
“I thought they would give us some of what we asked for and we would have to get (the rest) from our computer fund,” he said. he said, admitting it was him “surprised” that the software upgrade is fully paid for with grants.
“I am very grateful to the Ohio Supreme Court for funding the projects we proposed.” he said. “I think it’s important to realize that for smaller communities like Steubenville, it’s very difficult for us financially to find the money we need to make progress and move the courts forward. With grants, we can do all of the things that courts do in big cities, keep track of things and make sure we’re working efficiently. “
The updated software provides users with the industry standard for security, stability, and scalability, as well as a host of new features to optimize functionality and improve workflow. It will provide ongoing updates and fraud protection.
Court administrator Elizabeth Vergitz said the new system will be more intuitive and provide more information to court staff. For example, they can see at a glance which cases are pending, and when they try to look for registration blocks, the new software will alert them of all the guarantees of the subject.
“Lots of people getting through here have lots of cases, and if they want to come in and pay (their fines and costs) we’d have to register separately for each case now.” said Vergitz, who wrote the grant application. With the new system “We can get a $ 1,000 payment and assign it to all cases at once instead of treating them individually. That will make things easier at the counter. “
Mascio said the upgrade will allow them to completely redesign the court’s software.
“The court administration system is really the brain of the operation, all cases are loaded into the system.” he said. “Everything is tracked from pending cases to payment history (of a defendant) or previous criminal history. It’s huge. “
Your current software provider, Civica CMI of Inglewood, Ohio, will perform the upgrade. Vergitz said she’ll know when to start later this week. “But it will take 13 weeks from start to finish” implement the changes and train the staff.
Since the project is fully funded, Mascio can use the saved funds to upgrade computers to solve other problems such as upgrading the sound system.
“These grants are great for small communities” he said. “It’s not just here, the Supreme Court is doing them all across the state of Ohio. They really want to make sure we have the resources we need to run efficiently. “