Idea incubators. Court leaders and staff from across the state met at the John Adams Courthouse last month to celebrate the latest crop of Innovation Grant winners. Of the 30 applications received by the Innovation Grant Committee for consideration, eight were chosen in this fourth round of grants, half of which were ideas generated from the Probation Department. So far, 35 grants have been awarded since 2013 totaling $68,090. Additional proposals have been funded with operating funds and through the federal Court Improvement Program.  

Chief Justice Paula Carey commended the group for their initiative, creativity, and dedication to introduce new ideas in their courts. “You’re our life blood, our incubators of great ideas.”

Court Administrator Spence lauded the hard work and consistent efforts of Innovation Grant Committee leaders Springfield District Court Clerk Magistrate John Gay and Norfolk County Juvenile Justice Dana Gershengorn, along with the Committee’s members, who represent the various Trial Court Departments, including: Judiciary Information Systems, Probation, Probate and Family Court, Boston Municipal Court, Superior Court, and Land Court.  

SJC Chief Justice Ralph Gants stopped by on a busy decision day to congratulate the grant recipients, urging them to share their innovations with others in their individual courthouses and beyond. 

FY16 Innovation Grant Summary pdf format of FY16 Innovation Grant Summary

FY 16 Innovation Grant Recognition Program pdf format of Trial Court Innovation Grants Recognition

PFC Head Admin Assistant Mark Ames with Chief Carey
Head Administrative Assistant Mark Ames from the Hampshire Division of the Probate and Family Court with Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey. Mr. Ames spoke about how his FY15 Innovation Grant helped preserve thousands of court records dating as far back as the 1660s. “This grant gave us a sense of being a partner in the Strategic Plan,” he said. “It showed us that someone with an idea to improve our operations could come forward and receive the support needed to make that idea a reality. The most important thing this process does is engender trust…By providing this venue to share ideas it builds trust from the employees that see things every day to those that have the power to make those ideas a reality.”
probation innovation grant winners with the commish
Shown in this photo are, from left: Kevin Martin, Chief Probation Officer, Bristol County Juvenile Court, Fall River; from the Bristol County Juvenile Court, New Bedford: Shea Kiley, Probation Case Specialist; Ann Condon, Court Clinician; and Estella Rebeiro, Probation Officer; Commissioner of Probation Edward Dolan. The Bristol team received a FY16 Innovation Grant to provide materials and other support for their Girls Group, an alternative dispute group, to set goals and recognize achievement of objectives. The Girls Group is an offshoot of Probation’s successful Changing Lives Through Literature program.
innovation grant committee members
Innovation Grant Committee members, from left: Judiciary Information Services Team Lead Paul Johnston, Boston Municipal Court (West Roxbury) Head Account Clerk Jennifer Hartigan, Norfolk County Juvenile Court Judge Dana Gershengorn, Malden District Court Assistant Clerk Ann Marie Lyons, Falmouth District Court Probation Officer Alyse Demary, Land Court (Boston) Case Coordinator David Dayes, Grant Manager Jessica Fix, Worcester Juvenile Court Probation Officer Alouneny Le, Probate & Family / Juvenile Courts Data Analyst Melaine Malcolm, Committee Chair and Springfield District Court Clerk Magistrate John Gay. Franklin County Superior Court Clerk Susan Emond was unable to attend the ceremony.