Teen Substance Abuse Treatment and the Juvenile Court - Technology Helps Coordinate Services

[John Kelly, pictured below, is Associate Editor at Youth Today. His complete article is available to subscribers on the paper's website.-- Ed.]
In Indiana, a couple of techies built a case management system, Quest, that connected all the integral parties associated in juvenile and family court cases. It enabled judges to handle motions and docket changes online, staff to draft orders in real time, and juvenile justice officials to measure data and progress seamlessly.
Staffs in counties that use Quest swear by it; observers usually leave in awe when they are first introduced to it. I first saw how the system works when Indianapolis Judge Marilyn Moores off-handedly showed it to an audience during a presentation about truancy courts. About half the crowd stayed after the session to ask questions, but not about the truancy court.

If there is such a need for a better way to handle juvenile cases, why are so many systems stuck in management procedures that should be relics by now? Paper files should be the dark ages; instead they are still the norm. Even systems that use computers are often not in synch; probation uses one system, the courts use another. 
There couldn’t be a better time for systems to start getting serious about case management efficiency. Across the country, budget shortfalls mean juvenile courts and justice agencies are facing the prospect of doing the same amount of work with fewer financial resources. 

Updated: February 08 2018