COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced earlier this week that 51 local courts will receive a total of $10.2 million in grant funding to reduce accumulated backlogs of pending court proceedings.

The Ohio Court Backlog Reduction Program launched earlier this year, is part of the $250 million in American Rescue Plan funding that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly dedicated to first responders. Its focus is aimed at countering pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increases in violent crime and decreases in staffing levels in criminal justice fields.

Projects that received funding include pre-trial programs, kiosk check-in systems, technology to simplify bench warrant processing and updates to case management systems that will increase the efficiency of court case processing. Grants were also awarded to help courts maintain adequate staffing levels.

Municipal and county courts, courts of common pleas and appellate courts were eligible to apply for grants for one or two-year projects. The Office of Criminal Justice Services, which is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, worked in partnership with the Supreme Court of Ohio to develop the grant criteria and select award recipients.