Juvenile/probate court receives $224K in grants

TROY — Miami County Juvenile/Probate Court Judge Scott Altenburger has announced being awarded more than $224,000 in grants, including $84,163.88 from the Supreme Court of Ohio 2020 Remote Technology Grant and $140,000.00 from the state of Ohio Department of Youth Services.

These grants were procured and will be administered several county departments,including Juvenile/Probate Court administrator Andrew Wannemacher, Magistrate Katherine Severt, Director of County IT/Deputy Auditor Matthew Watkins, Juvenile/Probate Court Fiscal Analyst Hannah Parshall, Chief Probation Officer Scott Auxier and County Administrator Leigh Williams.

“These individuals are shining examples of how impactful interdepartmental collaboration can be so effective,” Altenburger said.

The first grant is the DYS OYAS 2 Project Grant awarded to Miami County Juvenile Court to coordinate the development of software to be utilized within the state for counties using Henschen software and Juvenile Probation mandatory reporting. Once developed, this new software add-on will reduce employee data entry time to the state of Ohio saving significant personnel cost, Altenburger said. The new product will be installed and utilized by 26 other counties at no cost to Miami County or the other 26 counties, he said.

The second grant was awarded by the Supreme Court of Ohio to assist Miami County Juvenile/Probate Court to deal with the COVID-19 crisis while providing needed services to the community.

The grant is going to permit Miami County to process online marriage applications, and most importantly will allow our Juvenile/Probate court to conduct trials through video conferencing,” Altenburger said. “This grant will enable us to immediately purchase the equipment to expand video hearings for guardianships, adoptions, juvenile adjudications and delinquencies.”

It includes purchasing a 75-inch monitor, a 27-inch monitor and cameras for Courtroom 1 to effectively and efficiently allow remote access to the court, Altenburger said.

“These grants will cut costs to the county taxpayer by utilizing technology. Most importantly, the grant will permit the court to function and provide legal services and access to the court while not jeopardizing the health of participants during this pandemic,” Altenburger said.

Judge Altenburger said he believes this pandemic will fundamentally change the way courts do business. Even after the crisis passes, he said his court will continue to utilize technology in the courtrooms to make access to the court easier and less costly for the public.