The Office of Court Improvement (OCI) is a division of the Office of the State Courts Administrator within the Supreme Court of Florida. As a part of its work, the OCI works to promote the efficacy and utility of the Unified Family Court model. For more information on Unified Family Court, please visit the Unified Family Court main page. The OCI’s family court work focuses on the areas of Dependency, Delinquency, and Domestic Violence (see below for more information).
In addition to the work it does advancing the Family Court ideals, the OCI is involved in administering and enhancing Drug Court and other Problem Solving Court programs throughout Florida. Please see below for more information on Drug Courts and other Problem Solving Courts.
Drug Courts/Problem-Solving Courts
The Drug Court Program team works with Florida’s circuit courts to develop new drug courts and enhance the operation, performance, and cost effectiveness of existing drug courts. As the originator of the drug court concept, Florida has become a national leader in drug court innovations. Drug courts help thousands of Floridians every year by providing targeted and effective treatment, reducing recidivism, and cutting incarceration costs. By identifying funding sources, developing training materials, providing technical assistance, creating an information exchange, and working with law makers, the Drug Court Program team has assisted in realizing The Florida Legislature’s vision of having drug courts in every circuit in Florida. The success of drug courts has led to the development of other problem solving courts such as mental health courts and veterans courts. Problem solving courts hold offenders accountable for their actions, and provide the treatment and monitoring necessary to address the unique needs of these populations while maintaining public safety.
The Dependency Court Improvement Program – fully funded by federal grants – provides support, training, and technical assistance to judges, magistrates and court staff. The team also produces resources for the public to aid in understanding the dependency court process. In addition, the team maintains the Florida Dependency Court Information System (FDCIS), a web-based case management system. All of these activities are aimed at improving safety, permanency, and well-being for children and improve outcomes for families.
The Domestic Violence group is committed to enhancing the domestic violence injunction process throughout Florida by providing education, support, and training opportunities to Florida courts. Its ground-breaking online judicial training program, the Virtual Court, has been in use since 2009, and has saved the State of Florida over $12,000 in training costs alone. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the group's work has assisted domestic violence courts in increasing court efficiency, enhancing batterer accountability, and improving victim safety in the over 110,000 domestic violence cases heard throughout the state.
The OCI’s Delinquency Program is aimed at enhancing services to juvenile delinquency judges through the provision of educational resources and training opportunities. These efforts have increased court efficiency, promoted offender accountability, assisted in reducing recidivism, and protected the property and well-being of Floridians across the state.