Supporting the Nation's Judicial System & the Public it Serves

Court Voices Project

As courts continue to adapt in response to the pandemic, some court leaders are taking the extra step to ask their most impacted users what they think: court staff and court users. Giving voice is an evidence-based component of improving trust and confidence in the courts, not to mention a way to get insights that will improve cooperation and implementation. Unfortunately, most courts have limited mechanisms to get regular input from court users beyond the occasional paper or web-based survey that takes weeks to amass feedback and even longer to analyze the results.

With support from SJI, LaGratta Consulting, partners, and 12 pilot courts nationally have started the Court Voices Project. Pilot courts—rural and urban, limited and general jurisdiction—are collecting real-time, brief feedback from their staff and court users about pandemic responses. What percentage of court users prefer virtual hearings and why? Have court users found new communication channels like phone banks and online chat features to be more convenient and accessible? What ideas do line staff have for improving upon these practices? Pilot courts will collect feedback through November 2021, after which findings and lessons will be captured in a national toolkit and webinar series. In the meantime, court professionals are invited to join the national conversation by answering this live poll question about your court’s recent user feedback efforts, then bookmark the project webpage for ongoing updates. You can also learn more about the project at the Court Technology Conference on September 28-29, 2021; register here to attend in-person or online.