XENIA — Judge Anthony Capizzi has appointed Judge Adolfo A. Tornichio to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Military Committee.
Tornichio has served on the bench in Greene County Juvenile Court since Oct. 1, 2015 when he was appointed by Governor John Kasich to fill the remainder of the unexpired term of retired Judge Robert W. Hutcheson. Tornichio has initiated and been successful in creating innovative court programs that have addressed the best interest of the children and families that appear before the court.
Furthermore, his court has been successful in obtaining grants that are capable of sustaining and developing new programming in addition to providing the public with better access to justice through more efficient case management.
Through a Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grant Tornichio operates a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program with two full time employees and volunteers that provide thousands of hours annually to the court. This grant allows for the supervision and training of volunteers who provide direct services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment. The program advocates on behalf of children that are abused, neglected and dependent, primarily in Children Services hearings by investigating referred cases and providing written reports to hearing officers.
The Mental Health and Recovery Board grant allows Tornichio to offer a Strengthening Families program for youth and families regardless if the child is court involved. In 2016, 65 families were referred. Through this program families meet for six weeks and receive input based on observation and interaction that will allow the family unit to learn skills that will benefit them with conflict resolution and help guide them towards a healthy home.
The goal is to help the parents/caretakers learn to raise healthy, responsible, respectful young adults. This is based on a best practice model from Iowa State University.
The Ohio Supreme Court Technology and Innovation grants have allowed Tornichio to purchase new technology that will give the public better access to the court. Tornichio has been able to purchase and place video conferencing equipment in the courtrooms so hearings can take place with participants from other jurisdictions that are unable to physically attend the hearings. Participants from other states have been able to have a presence and participate with testimony in custody, child support, delinquency and children services cases.
Video cameras were installed giving security staff the ability to more thoroughly monitor court proceedings. Finally, computers were purchased for each hearing room so that entries can be prepared, typed and delivered to parties at the conclusion of each hearing. Being able to provide written entries at the conclusion of hearings allows the parties to clearly see and be able to refer back to what orders the court has imposed. Furthermore, this has decreased the amount of time it has taken for cases to be disposed of within the Supreme Court reporting guidelines.
Another innovative program initiated by Tornichio that has increased the public’s ability to easily access justice is the “Clerks to the Courtroom” program which began on Jan. 2 of this year. A clerk is now in every courtroom preparing entries for the parties that are then served upon them at the conclusion of the hearings. In the past, court entries were prepared and served upon the parties sometimes several weeks after a hearing took place. This new program has allowed the delivery of justice to be quick and efficient for the parties.