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State Court Reengineering

The Strategic Initiatives Grants (SIG) program provides SJI the flexibility to address national court issues as they occur, and develop solutions to those problems. SJI uses its expertise and the expertise and knowledge of its grantees to address key issues facing courts across the United States. The state courts are also facing severe budget reductions as a direct result of the current economic situation in the United States.

The budget crisis in the state courts is an emerging and national issue that is being addressed by the SIG program. The short-term cost reductions taken by the state courts (hiring freezes, furloughs, and layoffs) will have long-term effects, but are not enough to meet the current economic demands for reduction in costs. SJI awarded a Strategic Initiatives Grant (SIG) to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in FY 2009 to focus on reengineering in the state courts in response to severe budget cutbacks. NCSC began these efforts by establishing the Budget Resource Center (BRC) – a website to track the latest budget issues and cost saving measures in the state courts, listed by state. NCSC also provided direct technical assistance to several states. Through SJI SIG funding in FY 2010 and 2011, NCSC continues to provide technical assistance to courts at the state and local level. SJI has also partnered with the Department of Justice/Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) on reengineering projects in the state courts. BJA funding has lead to additional reengineering program sites. In addition to support provided by the SIG program,

SJI has also funded individual grants to state and local courts for reengineering in response to budget reductions. The final reports of those projects are available below, and new reports will continue to be provided on this website.


The states which NCSC, through the SIG program, either has worked with or currently is working with to reengineer their court systems:


Reports and Key Documents

Court Reengineering – Compilation of Ideas from the States

Current Cost-Saving Measures Used in the State Courts

White Paper on Appellate Court Staffing

Lancaster County, PA, Court of Common Pleas Operational Evaluation

Kansas Drug Court Feasibility Study

Oregon Court of Appeals Judicial Workload Study

Lycoming County, PA, Adult Treatment Court Evaluation

Seattle Municipal Court Case Processing Improvement Project

Reengineering Rural Justice in Minnesota

Yuma County, AZ, Judicial Workload Study

Guidelines for Implementing Best Practices in Court Building Security