Project ORCA (COVID-19 Case Resolution)

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Fulton County, Ga., GA

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About the Program

Category: Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Project ORCA is a $75 million investment in staffing and resources to create a Shadow Court System whose only focus is to reduce the number of backlogged cases brought on because of the COVID-19 shutdown of the Fulton County Court system. Project ORCA began on December 6, 2021, with about 149,200 backlogged cases, and as of February 15, 2023, only 58,353 backlogged cases remain. Fulton County’s shadow court concept has never been created at the speed, scale, or during a pandemic by any other county in the United States. Also, the use of innovative technology like the Zoom platform to conduct hearings and the hiring of dedicated staff across the justice community led to a significant reduction of backlogged cases.