Legislative panel hears updates on Judicial Branch reforms

On Friday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton, Jr., prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and others testified before the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary on new initiatives intended to improve the efficiency of the courts and address the opioid epidemic.

For the past year, a new initiative has been focusing on the cost, delay, and complexity of civil litigation. The effort resulted in the establishment of the Civil Justice Commission, which includes judges, legislators, and attorneys from various practices. The commission has developed a business court pilot project in Jefferson County which Deputy Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court Lisabeth T. Hughes will take the lead on. Read more about the pilot programs and Justice Hughes role.

Committee members also heard about the opioid epidemic’s impact on the court system and the system’s response. The epidemic has taken a toll on the system, and new programs such as RESTORE – Responsive Education to Support Treatment in Opioid Recovery Efforts have been developed.

The program, funded by a federal grant, helps court officials understand the nuances of opioid disorders, evidenced-based practices, etc.

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