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New York StateUnified Court System


To promote justice and fairness for all New Yorkers, the Office of Policy and Planning provides guidance and support to the New York State Unified Court System.

On a day-to-day basis the Office of Policy and Planning supervises New York’s Problem-Solving Courts and foreclosure inventory. It develops best practice standards for the courts, reviews ways to streamline court operations and improve case processing, and designs legal and operational seminars for court employees.

The Office of Policy and Planning also oversees special projects for the Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge, assists in the implementation of new legislation, represents the court system at local and national conferences, and participates in numerous committees and commissions addressing court system and criminal justice issues.


Problem-Solving Courts

Problem-Solving Courts identify the underlying issues that bring people into court and employ innovative approaches to address those issues. Problem-Solving Courts take different forms depending on the problems they are designed to address. Our Drug Courts, Veterans’ Courts, and Mental Health Courts focus on treatment and rehabilitation. Our Human Trafficking Intervention Courts and Adolescent Diversion Courts facilitate access to services. Through intensive judicial oversight, coordination with outside services, treatment where appropriate, and increased communication among government agencies, Problem-Solving Courts have enhanced the way we work with individuals, families and communities.

There are approximately 300 problem-solving courts statewide. The Office of Policy and Planning provide technical assistance to all of them by offering guidance and leadership on both operational and legal issues.

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Foreclosure proceedings have a significant impact on homeowners, lending institutions, the courts, and the economic health of our communities. The Office of Policy and Planning reviews the foreclosure inventory to increase access to justice, improves case processing throughout the state, and establishes best practices for these courts.

The Office of Policy and Planning develops foreclosure pilot projects and shares case management strategies learned from regional programs to increase court efficiencies. It works closely with the Statewide Foreclosure Committee, chaired by the Chief of Policy and Planning, and collaborates with the Unified Court System’s Division of Technology to collect and review data that is used as the basis for an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature.

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Special Projects

The Office of Policy and Planning is committed to improving all aspects of our court system. In addition to our primary practice areas the Office of Policy and Planning is also involved in special projects, including the early resolution of civil cases, education and training for Driving While Intoxicated courts, the design and implementation of the new Universal Case Management System, and Native American bail reform.


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