Improving the Quality of Justice in our State Courts

Learn About SJI

State Justice Institute

The State Justice Institute (SJI) was established by federal law in 1984 to award grants to improve the quality of justice in state courts, and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts.


Beginning in FY 2021, all new grant application submissions must be made via the online Grant Management System (GMS). Also, all awards made in FY 2021 and forward are required to be managed in the GMS. Grantees with open awards made prior to FY 2021, may elect to create a new account and complete all requirements in GMS.

Grant Application Deadlines

SJI continues to make all grant reports and most grant products available online through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Library and Digital Archive.


Visit SJI’s Funding Toolkit for State Courts and Justice System Partners to learn about additional grant opportunities, access grant resources, and to request grant writing technical assistance.

NEW Request for Applications: Court Pandemic Response and Recovery

SJI is seeking to fund projects that assist state courts in their response to, and recovery from, COVID-19, with a look towards the future of court operations. In addition to meeting all other application requirements, SJI will give priority consideration for funding to projects that focus on institutionalizing and/or replicating practices that were implemented during the pandemic.

Applications for this opportunity must be submitted via the SJI Grant Management System (GMS). Applications will be reviewed, and if approved, awarded on a rolling basis in FY 2021. Visit the Virtual Learning section of the Funding Toolkit for State Courts and Justice System Partners to learn more about SJI funding, including a podcast about this funding opportunity. Email with questions regarding this solicitation.

Special Note on Prohibited Costs for this Solicitation:

No grant funds or cash match may be used to pay the salary and related costs for a current or new employee of a court or other unit of government because such funds would constitute supplanting state or local funds in violation of 42 U.S.C. 10706(d)(1); this includes new employees hired specifically for the project. Grant funds cannot be used for the purpose of purchasing software and/or equipment, such as for conducting remote hearings, as these are considered basic court operations.


  • Groundbreaking Project Could Lead to ‘Faster Courts’ Nationwide

    Before the coronavirus pandemic reduced court operations, state courts nationwide resolved 40 criminal felony cases and 100 criminal misdemeanor cases every minute of every day, but most courts failed to meet national time standards because of too many continuances and scheduled hearings. These findings come from one of the most ambitious undertakings of its kind, the Effective …

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  • 2020 NACM Annual Virtual Conference and Expo

    With SJI support, the National Association for Court Management (NACM) has made content from its 2020 NACM Annual Virtual Conference and Expo available online.  This year’s event went virtual for the first time due to the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Plenaries, workshops, the annual business meeting and much more have all been uploaded as …

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  • NCSC Report on How to Keep Court User Safe During Self-Help Services

    Earlier this year, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) released a report-style guide.  The purpose of this report is to provide facilities and access to justice recommendations for how courts can continue to offer in-person self-help services while respecting the public health and social distancing provisions required under COVID-19. As confirmed cases continue to …

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  • SJI Board Member Hernan Vera Appointed to the Bench

    On November 13, 2020, SJI Board Member Hernan D. Vera was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Vera has been a Principal at Bird Marella since 2015, where he focuses his practice on complex civil litigation and class action defense.  He also counsels and advises clients …

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