The Office of Court Improvement (OCI) is a division of the Office of the State Courts Administrator within the Supreme Court of Florida. As a part of its work, the OCI works to promote the efficacy and utility of the Unified Family Court model.
For more information on Unified Family Court, please visit the Family Courts main page. The OCI’s family court work focuses on the areas of Dependency, Delinquency, and Domestic Violence (see below for more information).
In addition to the work it does advancing the Family Court ideals, the OCI is involved in administering and enhancing Drug Court and other Problem-Solving Court programs throughout Florida. Please see below for more information on Drug Courts and other Problem-Solving Courts.
In 1989, Florida started the national problem-solving court movement by creating the first drug court in the United States in Miami-Dade County. Other types of problem-solving courts subsequently followed, using the drug model, and were implemented to assist individuals with a range of problems such as drug addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, and homelessness. Problem-solving courts involve a team of justice system stakeholders including judges, case managers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment and rehabilitation professionals, law enforcement and corrections personnel, who work in a non-adversarial manner to link the participant to treatment and closely monitor the participants' compliance. Problem-solving courts seek to promote outcomes that will benefit not only the offender but the victim and society as well. There are more than 3,700 problem-solving courts in the United States.
There are over 200 problem-solving courts in Florida including, but not limited to, 94 drug courts, 24 veterans courts, and 28 mental health courts.
The Dependency Court Improvement Program – fully funded by federal grants – provides support, training, and technical assistance to judges, magistrates and court staff. The team also produces resources for the public to aid in understanding the dependency court process. In addition, the team maintains the Florida Dependency Court Information System (FDCIS), a web-based case management system. All of these activities are aimed at improving safety, permanency, and well-being for children and improve outcomes for families.
The Domestic Violence group is committed to enhancing the domestic violence injunction process throughout Florida by providing education, support, and training opportunities to Florida courts. Its ground-breaking online judicial training program, the Virtual Court, has been in use since 2009, and has saved the State of Florida over $12,000 in training costs alone. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the group's work has assisted domestic violence courts in increasing court efficiency, enhancing batterer accountability, and improving victim safety in the over 110,000 domestic violence cases heard throughout the state.
The OCI’s Delinquency Program is aimed at enhancing services to juvenile delinquency judges through the provision of educational resources and training opportunities. These efforts have increased court efficiency, promoted offender accountability, assisted in reducing recidivism, and protected the property and well-being of Floridians across the state.