The 25th Circuit Court was recognized for its ability to deal with juvenile cases in a timely manner Wednesday morning.
The 25th Circuit Court was recognized for its ability to deal with juvenile cases in a timely manner Wednesday morning. The 25th Circuit includes Pulaski, Phelps, Maries, and Texas counties. Judge Tracy Storie accepted the Permanency Award presented by Supreme Court Judge Zel M. Fischer, but not without recognizing as many individuals as possible for their contributions in helping to make the 25th Judicial Circuit a success. Storie asked staffers, volunteers, officers and others from all departments who have a hand in the juvenile case process to stand and be recognized because he said he believes there are “a lot of people behind the scenes who don't get recognized.” The crowd listened as Storie pointed out that the court had served 985 cases last year and “each one was at least one child.” Storie said he didn't want anyone to lose sight of the fact that these cases decide the future of children. “Don't forget these are children's lives that we are dealing with,” Storie said. The Permanency Award is an award given to courts who meet time guidelines in juvenile cases and the 25th Judicial Circuit was actually the pilot program for trying out the requirements. In Juvenile cases, meeting time guidelines and making decisions quickly can reduce the time a child is in “limbo,” according to Judge Mary Sheffield. Sheffield told the crowd, “We proved that it could be done,” in reference to the 25th Circuit being the test court for the program. The objective of having a timeline is to provide more permanency for children entering the court system for reasons such as having been removed from the home for being the victim of abuse or neglect. This is the fifth time the 25th Judicial Circuit has received the Permanency Award.