State courts require a workforce that is adaptable to public demands for services. SJI supports projects that focus on the tools needed to enable judges, court managers, and staff to lead their courts in future reform efforts.
Judicial Education Series: Historical Roots of Racism & its Contribution to our Current Juvenile Legal System
The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is working with the NJDC Judicial Council to develop a program that explores the legacy of racism in America and how it has shaped the juvenile legal system. NJDC will also work in collaboration with the National Council of Juvenile Court and Family Judges (NCJFCJ) to implement this project. The audience for this program is a select number of juvenile court judges who apply to participate and will comprise the Judicial Racial Justice Network (JRJN). JRJN members will participate in virtual programming led by peer judges and experts to develop strategies that counteract systemic biases in their courtrooms and communities. At the conclusion of the project, JRJN members will serve as ambassadors for racial justice in the juvenile legal system community to invoke sustainable positive change that will benefit the lives of Black children.
Human Trafficking Victims: Developing Training and Tools for Courts
The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) at the American University/Washington College of Law is developing materials on human trafficking, providing technical assistance, and offering pilot trainings for state court judges and judicial employees on human trafficking and the T Visa. The project provides judges and court staff with the tools and training they need so that when they encounter an immigrant involved in a court proceeding who may be a victim of human trafficking, the judge knows how to handle these cases. NIWAP is also creating a National Judicial Network, which will serve as a forum that will engage judges in learning from each other and from experts about best practices and legal issues that arise in cases of human trafficking victims and immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking and sexual assault.
Justice for All: Courts at the Crossroads: Facing Pandemic and Racial Justice Challenges
The National Association for Court Management (NACM) is developing and delivering nationally significant educational programs, related material and curriculum with continued focus on SJI Priority Investment Areas and the NACM Core®, and expanding and broadening remote technology through live and recorded distance learning opportunities to members and NACM’s justice partners. This is accomplished through digital recording and live streaming of NACM’s Annual conference to be held July 11-15, 2021, in San Diego, California, and through webinars, podcasts, and guides from January through June. NACM will live stream multiple plenary and breakout sessions at the annual conference and will record the other educational opportunities. These digital recordings will be posted to NACM’s website and on NACM’s video channel. NACM will also publish summaries from many of the educational programs in its fall edition of the Court Manager. All of these materials will be made available on NACM’s website at www.nacmnet.org. Finally, NACM will develop themes and descriptions for its 2022 Midyear and Annual conferences.
E-Learning Faculty Development Model
The Michigan Supreme Court and State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) will develop, pilot, and institutionalize an e-Learning Faculty Development Model. The project will also enable the Michigan Judicial Institute (MJI) to identify court personnel to serve as volunteer faculty for peer judicial education sessions delivered through virtual platforms. The “train-the-trainer” curriculum will be structured as a virtual workshop, and introduce the core components of active learning using interactive lectures. This will include model learner engagement activities, and teaching workshop participants on how to use virtual conference platform tools to create their own virtual sessions.
Providing Access to Justice While Protecting Public Health During a Pandemic
The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) promotes the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership; fairness and equality in the courts; and equal access to justice. NAWJ designed and executed a podcast series on ways to provide access to justice while protecting public health during a pandemic. The NAWJ Podcast Series explores how technology is impacting work within the justice and arbitration systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Justice and Fairness Training Program
The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) is developing a national training program for judges at the local, state, and federal level who engage in sentencings and other public encounters with a focus on justice and fairness. The curriculum will be delivered as a pilot to 100 judicial officers at the outset. In addition, at the NAWJ National Conference, an additional 100 judges will be trained through the development and delivery of a train the trainer curriculum. Ten judges will be selected as district instructors who will present localized training. NAWJ’s focus of this project is the racial inequalities that are seen in the criminal justice system especially for women and people of color. The goal is to aid and educate the judges about the built-in prejudices that directly influence sentencing in their communities.
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.