Rural courts face different problems than their urban counterparts; they have to overcome obstacles such as large distances, outdated technology, a limited supply of resources and guidance, and reduced training opportunities. While rural courts benefit from having a smaller staff that promotes friendlier relationships with the litigants in the courtroom, many continue to face difficulties due to lack of funding and isolation.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge and Vera Institute.
This report examines the 436% rate of increase for pretrial detention in rural jails.
Rural courts face unique challenges posed by their locations in sparsely populated areas, often with limited resources for themselves and for court users. In many places, however, the challenges are being overcome through effective use of modern technology and support from state administrative offices of the courts.
National Center for State Courts (2010). The Eighth Judicial District, a 13-county trial court service area in west central Minnesota with a total district population of 125,000, is the most rural of the state’s ten judicial districts. This report provides recommendations on improving the court processes in the District.