Fulton County Board of Commissioners Approves 75 Million for Justice System for Backlog Reduction

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Approves $75 Million for Justice System for Backlog Reduction Investment

July 28, 2021
The Fulton County Board of Commissioners has approved the investment of $75 million to significantly reduce the backlog in cases within the Fulton County Justice system caused by COVID-19.

The investment of American Rescue & Recovery Act Funding will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 which has created a backlog of over 200,000 cases in the largest and busiest justice system in the southeast.

“The Board of Commissioners has prioritized the operations of our justice system during COVID-19, and we immediately sought to use the American Rescue and Recovery Act funds to resolve this issue,” says Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts. “I am pleased that hiring is already underway and look forward to seeing this important work move forward.”

Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Christopher S. Brasher related that “We have planned for this effort since the Fall of 2020, at a time when all of our justice agencies began to fully understand magnitude of the effect COVID-19 was having on our justice system. We are proud of the collaboration with county leadership that has provided the needed resources to successfully address this issue.”

The approved funding will support additional staffing, capacity expansion and improvements to the current processes. The plan will increase case handling capabilities and address current inefficiencies in the case handling processes. The planned expansions will allow each agency within the Fulton County justice system to increase their capacity to address the significant backlog.

“With funding in place we are squarely focused on execution of our plan for seamless delivery of services.” Says Alton Adams, Deputy COO for Public Safety and Justice. “Like most programs of this scale, good planning, disciplined program management and collaboration across all stakeholders will be key to achieving our goals.”

Expansion and productivity improvements will include:

· Approximately 20 additional courtrooms and extended court hours.

· The addition of satellite courtroom locations.

· Enhanced case management and triage.

· Implementation of real-time case dispositions.

Hiring is now underway to add more than 300 staff members for agencies including the District Attorney’s Office, Solicitor General, Public Defender and all of the courts within Fulton County.

County Manager Dick Anderson points out that other administrative services across Fulton County will also support the case backlog resolution, “In addition to the $75 million in funding, other key services including Finance, Information Technology, Facilities, Human Resources, Strategy and Planning, among others, will support this effort to ensure success.”