News

The Magistrate Court of Fulton County Receives The Clearance Rate Excellence Award

Under the leadership of Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk, the Magistrate Court of Fulton County has worked diligently to prevent case backlogs such as the 30,000 case backlog  conquered in 2016-2017. The Court has kept itself on track, by meeting or exceeding its Key Performance Measures each year since. Part of creating an environment where community members are informed, engaged, and empowered is ensuring that Justice through the courts is not elusive or delayed. This latest award highlights the court’s ongoing commitment to our community.Clearance Rate Excellence Award

The Research staff at the Administrative Office of the Courts presented the Magistrate Court of Fulton County with its 2019 Clearance Rate Excellence Award.   This award, created in 2018 through the Standing Committee on Judicial Workload Assessment, acknowledges courts that are keeping up with their incoming caseloads. Courts strive to reach 100% clearance rates. In this case, the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, one of the highest volume courts in the State of Georgia, received the award for its past three-year clearance rate average of 254%.

The Magistrate Court of Fulton County is honored to receive this award and credits its judges and Court Administration for making these achievements possible.

Misdemeanor Mental Health Court Celebrates First Graduation as a Georgia Certified Accountability Court

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It was another exciting time for the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court! We celebrated our 8th Misdemeanor Mental Health Court graduation and our first as a Georgia certified Accountability Court! Friday July 10, 2020 we had 10 graduates and plenty of other participants in a totally virtual Zoom graduation led by Judge Cassandra Kirk, Judge Patsy Porter, Georgee Corley and the amazing team of professionals in the MMC! Let’s put our virtual hands together to congratulate all the hardworking graduates! 

Amazing job to the Misdemeanor Mental Health Court team.

Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMC) Success

The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court (MMC) is a voluntary court program to divert and support eligible misdemeanor citizen-defendants with mental health concerns. MMC is a joint misdemeanor justice project, housed in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County.

Misdemeanor Mental Health Court participants meet specific medical and legal criteria. We accept participants with cases from the jail, identified through First Appearance, as well as those participants after accusation, identified at Plea and Arraignment. Once an assessment determines that an accused person is competent and willing to engage in the process and the current criminal charge is connected to a diagnosed behavioral health concern, the participant is further screened by the team for participation. 

The Misdemeanor Mental Health Court strengthens connections between the court system and the DSC_0019mental health community. The program encourages safe and supported release of participants from the jail into the community, including assisting with housing and behavioral health treatment prior to release. MMC enhances the interconnection of participants, crime victims and our community. MMC reduces the incarceration and re-arrest of individuals with a mental health diagnosis and increases community confidence in the criminal justice system; therefore improving the overall quality of life for the entire community.

Misdemeanor Mental Health Court program has had seven graduations since it began as a pilot program in July 2018 and boasts an 80% graduation rate for entering participants.

Testimonials:

“Graduation allows a participant’s case to be sealed. This simple action restores our most vulnerable, opening doors of employment and housing once believed lost.” – Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk

“Incredible program! Mental Health is key to sustaining successful communities… This program deserves to be expanded broadly.” – Attorney Joshua Schiffer

“Misdemeanor Mental Health Court is truly the light at the end of the tunnel for the participants, their families and our community. Where there has been darkness and little if any hope for supportive services, this Court has helped to fill that void.” – State Court Judge Patsy Y. Porter 

The permanent 12 month program will be divided into 4 phases, based on individual participant needs and criminogenic risks.