CCC Testimony: Impact of State Court Budget Cuts on Children, Families and the Public
CCC testified about the impact budget cuts have had on the already under-resourced Family Court System, at a New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) hearing on the impact of state and federal budget cuts on courts, on December 2, 2013. CCC’s testimony focused on the Family Courts.
CCC’s testimony explained that prior to the budget cuts implemented in State Fiscal Year 2010, the Family Courts were already in crisis—under-sourced and in desperate need of more Family Court Judges. The testimony discussed the impact of the budget cuts including the hiring freeze in effect since January 2011, the loss of 147 non-judicial staff statewide, and the elimination of over-time which had meant that courtrooms close at 4:30 PM.
CCC also analyzed data, which showed that the loss of resources has led to an increase in court processing time, as evidenced by the decrease in annual case disposition even though there are fewer filings. In addition, the median length of court processing time has increased by 8 days in NYC (and 4 days statewide) for Juvenile Delinquency cases and the length of stay for foster children has begun to increase.
CCC testified that these resource issues must be addressed immediately and made 3 recommendations:
1) Restore the $9.2 million Cut from the Family Courts and add funding for additional staff;
2) Ensure all counties can have access to intake parts for emergency applications;
3) Substantially increase the number of Family Court Judges;