Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp was in Monticello on Friday to meet with judges, lawyers, court officials and lawmakers from Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew counties, the five counties in the 10th Judicial District, to give a “State of the Judiciary” report and hear local concerns.
Kemp, who took office last January, said Arkansas is one of only 12 states in the country that does not have a strategic plan for the judiciary. With the approval of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Kemp established a committee to create a plan through 2025. The committee is comprised of judges, court clerks, court reporters and the president of the Arkansas Bar Association.
The committee will focus on court technology, security, court administration, court integrity, the court system’s methods of communication with the public, updating electronic systems in cities and counties throughout the state, and statewide court program updates.
Kemp said he also hopes to get court employees funded through general revenue rather than fines and fees. “If we are funded by fines and fees, like we are now, it just doesn’t look right to the public,” he said.
The meeting was part of Kemp’s tour of the state’s 28 judicial districts.