The SJI Board of Directors has established Priority Investment Areas for FY 2017 grant funding. SJI will allocate significant financial resources through grant-making for these Priority Investment Areas (in no ranking order):
- Self-Represented Litigation – Promoting court-based self-help centers, online services, and increasing use of court-based volunteer attorney programs.
- Language Access – Improving language access in the state courts through remote interpretation (outside the courtroom), interpreter certification, courtroom services (plain language forms, websites, etc.).
- Reengineering to Improve Court Services and Performance – Assisting courts with the process of reengineering, regionalization or centralization of services, structural changes, improving performance, and reducing cost to taxpayers while providing access to justice.
- Remote Technology – Supporting the innovative use of technology to improve the business operations of courts and enhanced services outside the courtroom. This includes videoconferencing, online access, educational services, and remote court proceedings.
- Human Trafficking and the State Courts – Through the Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative, addressing the impact of federal and state human trafficking laws on the state courts, and the challenges faced by state courts in dealing with cases involving trafficking victims and their families.
- Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Elder Issues – Assisting courts in improving oversight of guardians/conservators to prevent fraud of the elderly and the incapacitated, to include establishing court visitor programs, electronic reporting and monitoring, and guardian training.
- Juvenile Justice – Innovative projects that have no other existing or potential funding sources (federal, state, or private) that will advance best practices in handling dependency and delinquency cases; promote effective court oversight of juveniles in the justice system; address the impact of trauma on juvenile behavior; assist the courts in identification of appropriate provision of services for juveniles; and address juvenile re-entry.
- Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices – Assisting courts in taking a leadership role in reviewing fines, fees, and bail practices to ensure processes are fair and access to justice is assured; implementing alternative forms of sanction; developing processes for indigency review; and transparency, governance, and structural reforms that promote access to justice, accountability, and oversight. Projects that address this Priority Investment Area will inform the work of the Conference of Chief Justices/Conference of State Court Administrators (CCJ/COSCA) National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices