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Tricia Parrott
Hetrick Communications

Jamie Palmer
Center on Urban Policy and the Environment

Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IU Center for Urban Policy and the Environment to study court reform

Indiana Supreme Court will utilize study to assess viability of local government reform commission recommendation

Nov. 24, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana University Center for Urban Policy and the Environment (CUPE) will work with the Indiana Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration to study ways to make the state's system of trial courts more equitable and efficient.

The Division of State Court Administration plans to use the court system study to assess the viability of one of the many reforms called for in the extensive report issued last year by the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. The bipartisan commission, organized by Gov. Mitch Daniels and chaired by former Gov. Joe Kernan and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard, made 27 recommendations for streamlining local government, including shifting Indiana's trial courts to a state funding model.

CUPE will partner with the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis Program on Law and State Government to analyze Indiana's current system and assess the ways other states manage and fund court operations. The study will pay particular attention to governing, budgetary and personnel issues. Next summer, the center plans to present its findings to the Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration, along with a series of options to consider for coordinating and streamlining Indiana's court system.

"This study will take a critical look at how other states have approached managing and paying for their local courts," said CUPE Director John Krauss. "Our goal is to identify ways Hoosiers can be assured equal access to services from the courts and that they're being funded in the most cost-effective way."

Krauss and his team of researchers last year staffed the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform. Their work included organizing community meetings across the state to gather testimony and data, and assisting in drafting the commission's final report. To see the report, click here.

About CUPE

The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, part of Indiana University's Public Policy Institute, works with state and local governments and their associations, neighborhood and community organizations, community leaders and business and civic organizations to identify policy issues, analyze options and develop strategic plans for responding to challenges. The center, which is affiliated with IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, provides nonpartisan, non-ideological research through faculty and staff with expertise in program evaluation, policy analysis, facilitation and planning.