Saving $175k per year through innovative case management system and a Truancy Court system that has become a national model
[Dallas, TX] — Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel honored members of the Dallas County Clerk and I.T offices as well as Truancy staff for a job well done and receiving the Tyler Technology Excellence Award. This award is given each year to a county who has used Tyler’s case management system, Odyssey, to implement additional best practices outside of the case management systems normal functionality.
The County Clerk’s office along with Dallas County’s Office of Information Technology jointly developed a process for the electronic submission of Truancy case filings TIS (Truancy Information System).
TIS replaced a manual system that required clerks to enter all the information manually into the computer system. The school districts delivered all paperwork to the five (5) Truancy Court locations on a daily basis. With the creation of the TIS System, the school districts can enter all the information into the TIS system directly from their offices. TIS automatically generate and electronically file the cases in Odyssey. The school districts can access TIS and manage their cases via the internet, view case status and print reports. Having this capability available to the school districts removes the burden of manual data input from the County Truancy Department thus saving valuable resources both manpower and dollars.
TIS has shortened the time frame for processing cases, while saving Dallas County an estimated $175,000 per year.
Importance of Award, Dallas County Truancy system and management
Thanks to the hard work and vision of Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, in 2003, Senate Bill 358 authorized the creation of the Dallas County Truancy Courts. That same year, Dallas County Commissioners Court began operating the centralized truancy court system to hear and adjudicate Truancy cases filed by participating school districts (Dallas, Garland, Highland Park, Mesquite, Richardson and Sunnyvale).
Dallas County is now the only county in Texas with a centralized truancy court system that processes the Failure to Attend School violations with magistrates and juvenile case managers instead of the municipal courts or the Justice of the Peace courts. Dallas County was at the forefront in providing Case Managers to assist in addressing the myriad of issues involved in absenteeism.
County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner John Wiley Price tout the importance of the leadership at work in the Truancy Court system of Dallas County, the $175,000 per year saved for county residents as a result of the new technology and case management system and acknowledged other court members and staff that it has taken to get the job done.
Since the Truancy Courts were activated in Dallas County:
- Cases are heard faster with a designated court for truancy cases. Students get the help they need to stay in school before issues escalate into further criminal behavior. The average time to hear a case in a truancy court is about 20 days vs. 75-80 days in the municipal and J.P. courts.
- The designated court offers consistency in expectations and outcomes. Dallas County students are expected to adhere to the programs and sanctions designed to help improve attendance.
The truancy courts have professional Juvenile Case Managers with experience in working with juveniles and their families. This helps in the development of case plans that are effective in getting kids back on the right track.