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

Strategic Planning

Courts must rely on a deliberate process to determine organizational values, mission, vision, goals, and objectives.  SJI promotes structured planning processes and organizational assessments to assist courts in setting priorities, allocating resources, and identifying areas for on-going improvements in efficiency and effectiveness.  Strategic planning includes elements of court governance, data collection, management, analysis, sharing; and sustainable court governance models that drive decision-making.  Strategic plans and outcomes should be communicated to judges, court staff, justice partners, and the public. 

Strategic Planning for the Future of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court and Broader Justice System

The Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Kane County, Illinois, is planning for the future of the Court and justice system. By collaborating with its justice system partners, they will build consensus of priorities in order to develop and implement a strategic plan that meets their needs and that of the County Board and drives continued court and justice system improvements.  In consultation with Praxis Consulting, the Court’s leadership and justice system partners (including the Circuit Court Clerk, State’s Attorney, Public Defender, and Sheriff) will develop strategic priorities and recommendations and will present improvement requests to the County Board.

Nevada Judiciary Strategic Planning Campaign

The Nevada Judiciary is creating a strategic planning campaign with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The project includes data gathering via survey and focus groups, developing and facilitating a strategic planning workshop, developing a strategic campaign document, and executing the campaign.

Organizational Assessment of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System

The South Dakota Unified Judicial System is assessing its current organizational structure and developing a set of recommendations that document the strengths, potential risks, and the opportunities for improvement to enhance performance.

Convening County, Court & Justice Leaders: A Framework for Cross-System Collaboration

Rulo Strategies, the National Association of Counties, and Praxis Consulting are supporting court and county leaders as they partner to establish local strategic priorities for justice and public safety and align resources. Ten communities will be selected to participate in this pilot initiative and serve as model sites. A site liaison will assist each community in identifying and prioritizing local criminal justice activities based on a shared understanding of the community’s needs and evidence-based practices. Lessons learned from the ten sites will be highlighted in a final publication, and a tool kit will be available to other communities that seek to replicate this planning effort.

Planning for the Future and Building Unity Among Michigan Courts

The Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) is working with PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. to develop and implement a statewide, judicial strategic plan in Michigan. The plan will create a unified vision for the future, build agreement around priorities, develop innovative and comprehensive strategies for making system-wide improvements, and coordinate many innovations resulting from recent reforms. Project work includes coordinating with stakeholders and judicial partners to create a unified vision for our courts, building agreement around priorities, and developing comprehensive strategies for system-wide improvements. 

District Court Workload Assessment

The Montana Supreme Court partnered with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to conduct a comprehensive workload assessment of the district courts in Montana. The Montana Supreme Court and District Court Council have relied on the use of a weighted caseload model to establish the baseline needs of trial court judicial resources. The weighted caseload formula enables the Judiciary to not only determine how much judicial time is needed for certain types of cases but was also one of the key data sources used by the Montana Legislature. The workload study is a key component of how judicial resources are managed and the outcome of this project will recommend a final set of judicial workload standards.

Piloting the Civil Case Management Team Model

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is partnering with the Iowa Judicial Branch and the Kansas Judicial Branch to provide an educational workshop on the implementation of the Civil Case Management Team (CCMT) staffing model for civil and family courts.  The workshop will provide an interactive experience in which courts will learn about the CCMT, implementation strategies, and develop strategic implementation plans for their respective courts.

Organizational and Management Structure Assessment

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is partnering with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to assess the following components of its business operations: 1) case flow management; 2) organizational and staffing management; 3) Committee on Admissions; 4) data collection and performance measurement; 5) use of technology; and 6) access to justice enhancements. The NCSC review and make recommendations on the simplification of forms and orders, provide a final report with recommendations, and prepare an Appellate Court Reengineering Handbook that can be shared with the broader court community.

Improve Caseflow and Calendar Management

The Stanislaus County, California, Superior Court partnered with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to review current case flow and calendaring practices as they compare to best practices by other courts within California and across the U.S. The assessment included: 1) evaluating and comparing existing case flow and calendaring processes in the context of best practices; 2) examining the Court’s specialty court calendars and explore expanding the use and number of these dockets; 3) reviewing the Court’s scheduling and assignment of cases involving mental health issues, and whether the Court should create a mental health calendar; 4) reviewing how the Court can best supervise defendants with mental health conditions who receive pre-plea diversion into a treatment program; 5) reviewing how the Court can best monitor the status of defendants evaluated for competency to stand trial; and 6) reviewing the impact on the Court of new legislation to enable the purge of marijuana convictions. The report containing final recommendations will enable the applicant to restructure its calendar and case flow practices to improve processes and reduce unnecessary delay.  

Implementing the Judicial Branch’s Strategic Agenda: An Implementation Approach to Long-Term Sustainability

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts is restructuring the Illinois Judicial Conference and assigning it a new and specific responsibility: formulating a strategic plan to guide the future of the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Conference has identified five strategic goals to be addressed in a three-year strategic agenda together with strategies designed to achieve each of these strategic goals. Implementation of strategies these strategies will allow judicial officers, court personnel, and justice partners to come together to think beyond day-to-day problems, allocate and use limited resources, and sustain internal and external cooperation and collaboration to improve the delivery of justice and better serve the public.

Planning for the Future of the Court

The 41B District Court of Michigan is partnering with Praxis Consulting, Inc. to conduct a strategic planning process that will enable the Court to prepare for the future and build a collective vision based on agreed upon goals and strategies. The strategic plan will include: 1) a mission and vision for the Court; 2) an analysis of current and future trends and implications for the Court; 3) an organizational readiness assessment that includes strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities; 4) strategic focus areas and short and long-term goals; and 5) first-year priorities for implementation.

Strategic Planning Project

The Berrien County, Michigan, Trial Court partnered with Praxis Consulting, Inc. to develop a strategic direction and plan to guide improvements that will enhance services, performance, and work culture.  The project provided an opportunity to think and plan strategically about the Court’s future, develop long-term goals and objectives, and enhance court performance.  The project enabled the Court to 1) work through the loss of institutional knowledge due to turnover; 2) instill creative and innovative thinking; 3) involve and engage judges and staff in making improvements; and 4) enhance buy-in to new ways of doing business and serving the public.