Atlanta – The Judicial Council of Georgia Ad Hoc Committee on ARPA Funding (“Committee”) has awarded grants totaling $20,712,972 to be distributed among 39 judicial circuits that applied for CY 2024 – 2025 funding. This award constitutes nearly the full balance of ARPA funds committed to the judicial branch that have not been expended or encumbered by prior awards. Of these circuits, three applied for new awards and 36 applied for additional funds to amend an existing award. The Committee accepted applications from August 28, 2023, through September 15, 2023, for the award period beginning January 1, 2024, and ending on December 31, 2025.
In calendar year 2022, grants totaling $44,147,105 were awarded to 42 of the 50 judicial circuits. The Committee has previously awarded more than $54 million to 39 judicial circuits for calendar year 2023 funding; in a program change announced this year, the grant period for CY 2023 awards has been extended through December 31, 2025, and any unspent funds remaining at the end of this calendar year will carry over and be eligible for use through the entire grant period. Subject to available funds, the program is planned to run through CY 2026.
As of this round of funding, 46 of Georgia’s 50 judicial circuits will have received grants since the program began on January 1, 2022.
Included in this round of awards is first-time funding to seven circuits to add audio-visual equipment modernization in existing courtrooms to their current backlog response plans. Funds have been awarded around the state for temporary personnel to respond to the case backlog, such as senior judges, judges to serve by designation, court clerks, prosecutors, security personnel, investigators, victim support staff, and court reporters; rental costs for temporary space to hold court; supplies and materials; mandatory education and training for certain personnel; and staff to support grant administration. The Committee previously awarded over $12 million to 21 circuits for audio-visual equipment modernization in compliance with the Committee’s Audio-Visual Equipment Modernization Policy. Approved expenses in this category include evidence presentation tools, assisted listening systems, video conferencing and remote appearance systems, improved court reporting interfaces, and general audio and video improvements aimed at assisting the circuits in reducing their backlog of serious violent felony cases.
“With the ability for circuits to carryover funds previously awarded in CY 2023 to CYs 2024-2025, the Committee carefully analyzed the available balance of the original $96 million committed to the judicial branch and distributed this round of funds in what we believe was an equitable and beneficial way for all circuits,” said Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs, Chair of the Judicial Council and the ARPA Committee. “The Committee will monitor the status of awards and the continuing progress being made to reduce pandemic-related case backlogs around the state.”
A complete list of CYs 2024-2025 grantees and award amounts is attached. Funding decisions are based on demonstrated need as long as funding is available. More information on grant requirements, Committee policies, frequently asked questions, timelines, and contact information is available at https://jcaoc.georgiacourts.gov/arpa/.
Background on Judicial ARPA Funding
Georgia’s judiciary operated under a Statewide Judicial Emergency Order from March 2020 through June 2021. The order placed necessary limitations on court operations to protect the health and safety of those working in and coming to courthouses during this time but also resulted in a backlog of criminal and civil cases, particularly those requiring jury trials to resolve.
In October 2021, Gov. Brian P. Kemp announced the allocation to the judicial branch of $110 million of ARPA funds to address backlogs of court cases, particularly cases involving serious violent felonies. The Judicial Council is administering $96 million of that total for eligible courts, prosecutors, and related agencies. The remaining $14 million in ARPA funds was allocated to the Georgia Public Defender Council for grants to public defenders.
The Committee, chaired by Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs, is overseeing the application process for the grants, and the Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts is facilitating the grant application, award, compliance, and reporting processes. All funds allocated to the judicial branch must be spent by December 31, 2026.
Judicial Council of Georgia
Ad Hoc Committee on American Rescue Plan Act Funding – CY 2024 – 2025 Awards
November 3, 2023
|Circuit||CY 2024-2025 Award Amounts|
|*Budget as approved by Committee||$20,712,972|
Note: All reported amounts are subject to change based on grant awards that were made conditionally pending pre-approval of select items by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, subsequent changes to eligible expenses by OPB and/or the Committee, or based on other Committee adjustments.
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