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The Supreme Court of South Carolina

 

JEAN HOEFER TOAL
CHIEF JUSTICE
 
POST OFFICE DRAWER 12456
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA 29211
TELEPHONE: (803) 734-1584
FAX: (803) 734-1167

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2003

 

 

CONTACT
Joan Assey
Director of Information Technology
803-734-0523 (office)

SOUTH CAROLINA JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT AWARDED $7 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT FOR COURT MODERNIZATION EFFORTS

Columbia, SC - Today, Chief Justice Jean Toal announced that the South Carolina Judicial Department (SCJD) has received a $7 million federal grant through the support of Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings.

"Senator Fritz Hollings' leadership, as ranking member of the Commerce Committee, has given the South Carolina Court system another unparalleled boost by providing funds for the South Carolina Court technology initiatives," Toal said. These funds, directed for the improvement of court operations through the incorporation of technology, are being received during a time of severe budget cuts at the state level.

Technology is the cornerstone of the modernization effort of the South Carolina Judicial Department, which aims to have the most rural places and citizens in the state have direct access to their court system. The South Carolina courts made a successful case for award of these funds by embarking on a set of multi-year technology initiatives. These funds are available from the federal government to improve state and local government operations through the use of technology. The South Carolina Judicial Department continues to follow the principles and initiatives identified in its strategic technology plan developed three years ago.

Today, the court system is showing tangible results by enabling the citizens of South Carolina to be better served through a more integrated criminal justice system. The technology enables information to be timely transmitted and more accessible to law enforcement and judicial personnel. This technology greatly enhances public safety. Warrants, protective orders, dispositions, and court schedules and rosters are just a few of the criminal justice information elements to be directly, electronically transferred when the new system is developed and fully deployed in all levels of Court.

Chief Justice Toal explained, "the days of the courts and law enforcement in South Carolina relying solely on paper and radios will be read in history books. The courts and law enforcement of South Carolina are now in the electronic age and world, positioned to leverage the benefits of technology integration. Senator Hollings' leadership allows technology to become as much a feature of the South Carolina Courts as the American flag."

In announcing this award, U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings said, "The South Carolina Judicial Department is working on several innovative projects that contribute to South Carolina's public safety, while doing so in a high-tech and cost-effective manner. With this funding, the South Carolina Justice Department will be working with cutting-edge technologies that will streamline the justice and judicial processes within our state. By arming law enforcement officials with these kind of information tools, we can help them to rapidly report and receive dispositions, warrants, and protective orders. This will make South Carolina a safer place."

The Judicial Department website is www.sccourts.org.