Through a Request for Applications (RFA) process launched in FY 2020, SJI funded multiple projects that will assist state courts in their response to, and recovery from, COVID-19, with a look towards the future of court operations. SJI gave priority consideration for RFA funding to projects that focused on institutionalizing and/or replicating practices that have been implemented during the pandemic.
SJI supported projects that planned a system change approach (as opposed to the replication of narrowly focused programs or projects), and emphasized the use of case triage to match cases and parties to appropriate resources and services both within and outside the courthouse. This also includes the use of technology for innovations such as online dispute resolution (ODR), portal development, virtual hearings, and other efforts to allow court business to be conducted outside of the courthouse. These projects will also take into account access and fairness, and costs/benefits, not only to the courts, but also to court users.
A summary of these projects is available on the SJI website.