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The following information was gathered over several weeks. Some has been updated as late as last week, but since many legislatures are in session and the budget process is fluid, it is likely that some of what follows is out of date. alabama-Effective in April 2002, froze hiring for circuit and district courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts; suspended jury trials, court educational conferences, merit raises, promotions and out-of-court travel; laid off 170 temporary court employees, including judicial aides and bailiffs. Governor’s proposed budget would close two prisons and lay off more than 400 prison employees. alaska-As part of a $500,000 FY2003 court budget cut, eliminated eight magistrate positions through attrition; cut Anchorage public law library hours; cut juror pay from $25 a day to $5 on the first day, $25 afterward. arizona-Cut judiciary budget by $21.3 million in 18 months; eliminated 190 probation officers and 13 court staff; closed state law library and dispersed materials to law schools and Superior Court law libraries. arkansas-Eliminated Supreme Court funds for temporary staff, professional services, committee travel and judicial education; stopped publishing high court opinions in Arkansas Reports for the rest of the fiscal year. california-Cut judiciary budget by nearly $200 million this fiscal year. Shifted two Riverside County courthouses from “full service” to small claims, traffic and eviction cases; cut Orange County night court sessions from weekly to monthly; laid off Los Angeles County trial court staff and closed 29 courtrooms; closed one women’s prison. Proposed FY2004 cuts include $138 million for courts and $85 million for prisons. colorado-Effective in July 2002, froze hiring throughout court system. Mandated eight days unpaid furlough for all court employees; will eliminate 320 positions, including clerks, court reporters and probation officers. connecticut-Laid off 232 judicial system employees since January; froze hiring for courts statewide. Superior courts in Hartford and New Haven have temporarily postponed hearing nonemergency habeas corpus petitions. delaware-The governor’s proposed FY2004 judiciary budget is $1.3 million (2%) short of need, officials say, which would affect maintenance of current court projects, indigent defense, salaries and administration. Asked courts to cut 31 positions (3%). IOLTA funding shortfalls could halve the budget of Community Legal Aid next year. florida-Proposed a preliminary budget for FY2004 that would cut the court system’s budget by more than $27 million (3.5%) and would eliminate up to 50 court clerk and administrative positions. georgia-Department of Corrections proposed closing one prison to save costs. Supreme Court had a 4.5% budget cut in the past three months. hawaii-Changed sentencing law in 2002 to mandate probation and drug treatment in lieu of incarceration for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders, to ease costs and prison crowding. idaho-Dismantled several substance-abuse and education programs under the Department of Corrections. illinois-Did not open two newly built prisons; delayed opening of a nearly completed youth prison; closed two work camps, one boot camp and four work-release facilities; left vacant 26 new trial judge positions. indiana-Froze trial judges’ pay for six years. iowa-Cut 225 prison staff during last fiscal year and 355 this year. kansas-Froze judicial hiring for seven of the past 10 years; imposed emergency filing fee surcharge for most court cases. Legislature is considering moving hundreds of drug offenders from prisons into treatment programs. kentucky-Released 567 nonviolent offenders early by governor’s order to close budget gap in 2002; cut Department of Corrections 5% from FY2001 and FY2002; funded mandated prison education programs at $3 million less than requested for FY2004; cut public defender’s office by $500,000 in FY2001 and $700,000 in FY2002 as caseload grew nearly 14% to an average of 448. Proposed cuts of 5.2% for public defenders would cause attorney layoffs and refusal of new cases. louisiana-Cut appellate court budgets by $3.5 million (3.5%) in FY2002-03. maine-Proposes leaving 20 court system vacancies unfilled for two years. Judiciary lacks funds to hire security guards to operate metal detectors and screening equipment in courthouses statewide. maryland-Froze court system hiring; cut grant programs to trial courts, information technology projects, supplies and materials and travel. Counties’ free legal assistance to low-income clients faces severe shortfalls. massachusetts-Froze hiring and cut 1,000 court employees in 14 months through attrition and reduction-in-force programs; closed five facilities in three years and eliminated 22 management positions. Proposes to raise court filing fees. michigan-Eliminated 11 judicial positions through early retirement; laid off five administrative staff; cut technology and drug court funding. Proposes to cut prison education programs. minnesota-Froze hiring for courts and public defenders; closed one public defender’s office in Foley; defenders in St. Cloud now handle approximately 770 cases, including 170 felonies, per year, more than twice the ABA standard. Proposes more budget cuts for courts and public defenders. mississippi-Leaving court vacancies unfilled; froze out-of-state travel for all trial judges; froze district attorneys’ pay for seven years. missouri-Cut expenses and equipment for appellate courts and funds to pay senior judges. Proposes to shut two prisons and release more than 1,000 nonviolent offenders early. Considering not opening Jefferson City Correctional Center next year. montana-Judicial system faces $2.1 million shortage in operating funds, and its budget cut another $511,000 over the next two years. Department of Corrections has 68 job vacancies, its budget cut by $1.6 million. nebraska-Put court employees on notice of possible furloughs, layoffs and salary cuts; cut state law library’s operating budget; delayed filling of court system vacancies. Proposes legislative budget to raise filing fees and close a youth correctional facility. nevada-Eliminated more than 40 prison jobs and discontinued overtime within last six months. Pending budget cuts would reduce prison meals on weekends and force closure of 13 minimum security facilities, requiring early release of thousands of inmates, mostly nonviolent offenders. new hampshire-Suspended jury trials for two months in FY2002, will do so for three months in FY2003; cut the use of per diem judges by 10% in district courts; eliminated funds for per diem judges in probate court; cut court security funds, laid off 66 part-time security guards; closed one prison, eliminating 46 jobs. Department of Corrections is expected to cut another 62 positions. new jersey-Eliminated hundreds of court positions through attrition. new mexico-Santa Fe County sheriff cut budget by spending less on seminars and training and trimming its extradition fund. new york-Froze hiring for 18 months, leaving 700 court jobs unfilled; cut New York City district attorney’s offices’ budgets by nearly 11%, with the following results: Manhattan DA’s office cut from 587 to 485 lawyers, Brooklyn’s from 537 to 437, Queens from 304 to 282, Bronx’s from 390 to 360. Suburban Westchester County DA’s office will no longer prosecute probation violators; six attorneys laid off; four attorney vacancies left unfilled. north carolina-Cut court system budget from $317 million to $304 million (4%) in three years as caseload increased by 11%; eliminated 30 state-employed prison chaplains. north dakota-Cut $2 million (2.5%) for FY2003-5 from Department of Corrections budget, causing reductions in education programs, substance abuse treatment and staff. ohio-Closed one prison and plans to close a second in July. Considering closing a juvenile detention facility for girls. oklahoma-Cut by 2.5% pay of all court employees except elected judges; froze court system hiring; restricted travel; cancelled spring and summer judicial education conferences. oregon-By order of chief justice, postponed nonviolent misdemeanor and certain nonviolent felony cases in all courts until after July 1; closed courthouses to the public on Fridays; has laid off more than 100 court employees since March; cut staff hours by 10%. Ceased state payment for the return of parole and probation violators, except for fugitives found in Washington and Idaho; released inmates early from some prisons; plans to close four juvenile detention centers. pennsylvania-Northampton County judiciary released about 100 inmates early to cut prison costs. Department of Corrections plans to close two prisons in FY2003-04, keeping them on standby or “mothballed.” rhode island-Governor’s budget proposals would cut seven jobs from the state police force. south carolina-Cut the judiciary appropriation by more than 21% since May 2001; increased court filing fees; eliminated funding for alternative dispute resolution; Department of Corrections budget cut by nearly one-fourth in two years; prison system now operating with approximately 600 fewer security staff than four years ago; plans to impose layoffs on 148 prison administrators and educators on June 1. south dakota-Brown County jail lacks funds to acquire and maintain prison equipment, such as video cameras to monitor inmates. Courts may face budget cuts in FY2004. tennessee-Proposes through governor’s FY2003-04 budget to cut the judiciary budget by 2.5%, with expected staff cuts in district attorney and public defender’s offices. texas-Department of Criminal Justice must cut budget by $172 million (7%) by the end of FY2003. State expects to lay off 88 employees and cut funding for prison education, mental health care and substance abuse rehabilitation. Proposes in FY2004 budget to reduce staff of Supreme Court; chief justice proposes eliminating two judgeships. utah-Froze hiring, resulting in the loss of nearly 100 court positions through attrition and layoffs; closed two courthouses; eliminated supervisors in the delinquent youth program; scaled back a juvenile sex offender treatment program. Plans a further 1% reduction in court spending in FY2004 requiring the elimination of 12 positions. vermont-Cut funds for Department of Corrections housing in 2002, eliminating supervised apartments for furloughed prisoners, many of them juvenile offenders. virginia-Cut prosecutors’ budgets by 7% this year; the Virginia Beach Commonwealth district attorney no longer prosecutes misdemeanor domestic violence cases. Hampton Commonwealth eliminated two DA positions. Newport News Commonwealth imposed a hiring freeze in the DA’s office. The Chesapeake Circuit Court clerk’s office laid off seven employees; Department of Corrections eliminated one meal on weekends and holidays in almost all prisons. washington-Cut district court budgets by $4.1 million in FY2002-03; closed two district courthouses in King County. west virginia-Proposes to reduce the attorney general’s budget by 6.7% in FY2003-04 budget from its FY2000 level; layoffs in attorney general’s office are expected. wisconsin-Imposed a statewide three-day furlough without pay for all district attorney’s offices by June 30. Cut judiciary’s general fund operations budget by 4% each year for FY2001-03. Proposes in FY2003-05 budget to cut DAs’ allocation by $1.8 million and eliminate 15 positions; public defenders’ by $7 million and eliminate 16 jobs; and Department of Justice by $10 million and eliminate 40 jobs. Approximately 400 nonviolent offenders who violate probation or parole would avoid prison and enter a rehabilitation program under governor’s proposed budget. wyoming-Experienced no court system reductions or shortfalls in its biennium budget for FY2002-04. Prepared by Research Editor Cleo Cacoulidis. Sources: State officials, National Center for State Courts, Court Consulting Service, news stories.

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