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Grant Recipients - 2009
  
Justice Initiatives is pleased to provide grant funding to the following projects:
   

Grants Awarded Fall 2009

bullet Courts and Media Seminar
To build public trust and confidence, there must be understanding and appreciation for the work of the Court. The media plays a significant role in informing and educating the public about the Court. As such, it is important that the Court and Media have open and honest communication to ensure that there is context and accuracy in the presentation of information. To that end, funding was provided to organize and host a seminar for members of the Court and media on an annual basis.
 
bullet DTC Modeling Clean and Sober Social Activities
In keeping with industry best practices, the Mecklenburg County S.T.E.P. Program supports lifestyle changes for program participants that move them from criminal activities to pro-social activities. The National Institute on Drug Abuse supports that the "planning and scheduling of activities increase the likelihood that patients will follow through with treatment goals and activities." Therefore, S.T.E.P. mandates all participants attend a special session of court designed to model positive, social interaction in a controlled environment. JI provided funding so that 200 participants and 50 team members could come together to celebrate success, teach positive coping strategies, and support a continued drug-free lifestyle.
 
bullet Drug Treatment Court Participation Recognition
In keeping with industry best practices, the Mecklenburg County S.T.E.P. Program seeks to reward the progress made by program participants. JI provided funding so that all DTC participants who meet 100% of the program requirements are entered into a drawing for a $25.00 gift card during one court session per month. Additionally, all participants who successfully completed one of the Mecklenburg County S.T.E.P. Programs were provided with a plaque commemorating their achievement.
 
bullet I-CAN Marketing
A Strategic Marketing Plan was developed to broaden awareness and educate the general public of the services offered in the SelfServe Center with a focus on the I-CAN! interactive software. Funding was provided to facilitate the implementation of this plan. The project served the primary demographic group that utilizes the SelfServe Center on a daily basis. Namely, those who earn between $0 and $25,000 annually, are between the ages of 26 and 35 years old with either a high school diploma or some college. It also targeted online users outside the primary demographic group that search the Internet for legal resources.
  
bullet Juror Appreciation Month
The main objectives of Juror Appreciation Month are to educate the community about the judicial system, enhance public awareness of the importance of jury service, and to show appreciation to citizens who perform their civic responsibility. Funding was provided to install a wallscape that was previously designed, printed, and used in 2009. The wallscape thanks jurors for their service throughout the year. In addition, continued funding for movies, newspapers, and magazines for the Jury Assembly Room was provided as another means to make jury service a more pleasurable experience for those citizens who perform this service throughout the year.
 
bullet National Adoption Day
National Adoption Day recognizes the individuals involved in the adoption process, raises awareness of the need of foster children for adoptive homes, and celebrates the successful creation of families. Funding was provided to cover the cost of the event and provide teddy bears for the adopted children, corsages for adoptive mothers, and a cake to celebrate adoptions. A special court session is conducted during the event to finalize adoptions.
  
bullet TCA Continuing Education
Funding was provided to cover the cost of professional dues and attendance at professional conferences for the management staff of the Trial Court Administrator's Office. No funds were available for such activities under the then current State budget. As a result, management staff had to incur personal expense if they wanted to join professional associations, such as the National Association for Court Management, and/or attend conferences that promote employee development in the court system. The expense of the dues and conferences is such that few were financially able to take advantage of these opportunities. The request for assistance with meeting the continuing education needs of court personnel is consistent with Justice Initiatives' mission and purpose to advance the needs of the court system and to advocate for these needs.
    
Grants Awarded Spring 2009

bullet Court Camp
Funding was provided to better educate high school students about the 26th Judicial District. This educational outreach effort provided a "hands-on" day camp program within the Mecklenburg County Court system. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, students were instructed with a combination of lecture, writing, artwork, group work, videos, mock trial, visiting speakers (judges, court officials, and deputies), research via Internet, observation of live trials, and a guided tour of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse and Mecklenburg County Jail.
 
bullet D-SLR Camera
The dissemination of printed and electronic materials for educational purposes is central to the 26th Judicial District's mission. Funds were provided to purchase a professional grade D-SLR camera for photographing court staff, judges, areas of the courthouse, and various annual events. The photographs are used to enhance publications destined for the public including TCA newsletters, annual reports, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, the Mecklenburg County Bar newsletter, as well as the 26th Judicial District's website.
 
bullet Drug Court Month
Funding was provided to educate the public, court community, and elected officials regarding the success of the local drug courts. During National Drug Court month (May), the operations of eight local courts were highlighted through: A county proclamation; the presenting of information to community members, elected officials, and collaborative partners; providing special recognition for program participants, team members, and community partners; and, emphasizing the advantages of drug courts on a local, state, and national level.
 
bullet Notary Public Licenses
Funding was provided for the commissioning of five employees within the Family Court Administrator's Office in order to better serve the general public by notarizing domestic pleadings for self-represented litigants. Litigants in the midst of domestic crisis were previously required to leave the courthouse to seek notary services elsewhere. This grant alleviated the stress and time litigants spent running to and from the courthouse.
 
bullet Online Calendars
Funding was provided for the design and programming to create online, interactive calendars which allow Mecklenburg County Bar members the ability to update the status of their own cases and view the status of their colleagues' cases via the Internet. Providing attorneys with this online service promotes greater certainty as to what will transpire during the first day of the term and results in better prepared counsel and more organized dockets.
 
bullet Town Hall Meetings
Funding was provided to support the creation of a public forum for citizens of Mecklenburg County to pose questions of court officials as well as become informed on the various aspects of the court system. The Town Hall Meetings took place at designated locations in North, South, East and West Mecklenburg County and consisted of a brief presentation followed by a panel discussion. Following the discussion, citizens were encouraged to voice concerns or questions about the court system to the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, Chief District Court Judge, Clerk of Superior Court, District Attorney, Public Defender, and Trial Court Administrator.
 
bullet Wireless Access
Funding was provided for the installation of wireless internet connections for the large Attorney Workroom on Level 6 of the courthouse and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Suite, also on Level 6 of the courthouse. The wireless internet access enables attorneys and litigants to remain productive while they await trial or other court proceedings and to access needed resources while trying their cases or participating in arbitration hearings, mediation sessions, or depositions.
      
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...to educate the community about the court system and advocate, support and advance its needs and interests.