Project 48 has been selected by the National Association of Counties for their 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management. The project was initiated by the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) to ease stress on the Clark County Detention Center by cutting criminal bind-overs from Justice Court to District Court down to 48 hours. Project 48 has produced nearly $1.6 million in direct savings in just one year alone from 11,888 jail days saved. With a lack of resources to cover incarceration costs, growing with each new inmate ($135 per-day per-inmate), and escalating safety and security issues for the inmates and officers, the EJDC looked for ways to work with the Detention Center to safely reduce the jail population. That was the genesis of Project 48.
“It is gratifying to get national recognition for the cooperative effort of Project 48, which has significantly improved the transfer of jurisdiction from Justice Court to District Court for cases in the criminal system. Project 48 has resulted in multiple benefits including significant cost savings. I want to commend the agencies and individuals who played a role in making this project a success,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker.
District Court examined areas where efficiencies could reduce the average length of stay. The transition of a case from the limited jurisdiction (Las Vegas Justice Court) to the felony trial court (EJDC), the “criminal bind-over,” was identified as an area to use technology to streamline case-flow processing. In February of 2015, District Court brought together a consortium of justice professionals to make the process work including: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., District Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office, Justice Court, District Court, and the Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers. Each entity participated in the planning, shared insights and ideas, and made adjustments to their work models to achieve success. The EJDC Information Technology division put technology to work to shorten the bind-over process. EJDC IT worked with Justice Court IT to integrate the Justice Court and EJDC case management systems and integrate with the jail. The technology was shared with all the justice courts in Clark County. Project 48 not only impacts the average length of time in custody, it gets those who have been jailed back to their families and their lives quicker, reducing the potential for disruption to their professional and home life, and the potential residual fallout that results from unnecessary confinement. Prior to Project 48, standard setting times for criminal bind-overs to arraignment court were 10-15 days. Project 48 cut criminal bind-overs from 10-15 days to 48 hours. Nearly 11,888 jail days were saved in the first year alone. Project 48, eases stress on the overcrowded jail and reduces unnecessary confinement. Since April 2015, the program is estimated to have already saved more than $1.6 million.
The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court judges and staff continuously work to develop new ideas, maximize efficiencies and improve access to justice. For more information about the District Court, please visit our website at clarkcountycourts.us, Facebook at Clark County Courts, Twitter at
M Price@LasVegasCourts or blog at https://eighthjdcourt.wordpress.com.