OCA's Web-Conferencing System became operational in June for court employees through the court system's
internal Web site, CourtNet. This system permits up to 40 simultaneous users in different locations
to view a computer demonstration. As of last year, a new audio-conferencing system enables
court administrators to link more than 50 participants. A video-broadcast system will soon be available,
permitting both live and taped video programs to be sent to individual computers throughout
CourtNet. All three systems - Web, audio and video - enhance the court system's communication abilities
and make it more convenient to provide distance-learning and off-site training programs.
COURTHOUSE VIDEO APPEARANCES:
The number of inmate video appearances continues to rise as this initiative enters its fourth year. Originally
designed to enable Riker's Island detainees to "appear" in courtrooms throughout New York
City, this program has expanded to include inmate "visits" with probation, drug treatment providers
and attorneys. Since the program started in 2001, the total number of inmate video teleconferences
citywide grew to 7,500 last year. The court system now has video installations in 35 courtrooms and
video booths. The Riker's Island facility has 12 video booths. OCA is working with the commissioner
of the New York City Department of Correction to expand this program even further this year.
The Division of Human Resources is currently implementing an ambitious statewide initiative to automate
the court system's time and leave and personnel systems. The Kronos automated timekeeping
system is now being used by over half of the nonjudicial workforce, with a February 2006 target date
for statewide implementation. This will result in a uniform, simplified timekeeping system that
ensures the accurate transmission of time and leave records in support of payroll transactions. The
PeopleSoft project represents a fundamental change in the way the court system maintains personnel
records. With PeopleSoft, the court system will have a single, fully-integrated system for recording
and maintaining personnel information. Unlike Kronos, which is being rolled out over a period of
time, PeopleSoft will be available to all human resources personnel statewide in 2006.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER:
The Professional Development Center, home to the Career Services Office and the Court Officers Academy,
will continue to expand its training program in 2005. Building upon the title-specific educational
programs offered in previous years, a cross-jurisdictional training program will be offered to court
clerical employees. In addition to supporting court clerical employees who may be interested in
assignments in different courts, this program will ease their transition to assignment in problem-solving
and integrated courts. The Court Officers Academy is also expanding its reach to upstate New
York, having opened a satellite training academy in Cohoes for new recruits and in-service training.
The Workforce Diversity Office has completed a comprehensive review of the census results that
became available at the end of 2004 and will be working with executive managers in the courts and
district offices to establish local goals and objectives based upon this analysis. Once these goals and
objectives are set, the office will support local recruitment and development projects.
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