Free Resources

Free Online Courses

 

Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has produced an interdisciplinary curriculum,  Developing a Mental Health Court,  which brings together national experience and expertise to introduce key concepts for mental health courts and other collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.  



Different Work - A First Course in Effective Supervision

This self-paced course is designed for new supervisors who want to learn how to become effective managers. Dan Straub takes you step-by-step through a process leading to a foundation of principles that guide you to become effective in your new management role doing “categorically different work.” The course covers topics such as:

  • The Big Picture
  • The Task
  • Effective Communication
  • People Problems and Problem People
  • Building Teams and
  • Managing Performance

Each course module contains media presentations readings and selfassessment questions. This course is designed for just those people who otherwise would not get training in this business of management but yet are required to do it effectively.

Participants have access to the course materials for three months from the date of registration.


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Writing Opinions and Orders in Controversial Cases

A free online course designed to be relevant to both trial and appellate judges, highlights the importance of writing opinions that foster public trust in and understanding of the judiciary. This course explains specific strategies for writing such opinions.   In addition to a series of video lectures by retired Judge Robert Alsdorf and Professor Nancy Wanderer from the University of Maine School of Law, there is also a roundtable discussion with Judge Alsdorf, Judge Kevin Burke (Hennepin County District Court), and Judge Steve Leben (Kansas Court of Appeals) that covers a wide range of practical topics from anticipating controversy to handling the media to avoiding bias in the opinion.

 

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New Free Web-based course on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System

The course contains an overview of the National Crime Information Center NCIC database, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993--Brady Act, and the FBIs National Instant Criminal Background Check System--NICS, and the ten federal prohibitors which can disqualify an individual from the purchase or possession of a firearm. Special emphasis has been placed on the protection order prohibition and the criteria that must be satisfied in order to render someone federally prohibited from the purchase or possession of firearms. You have the option to choose between two versions of this course:

  1. Judges Guide to the National Crime Information Centers Protection Order File
  2. A Law Enforcement Guide to the National Crime Information Centers Protection Order File


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Evidence-Based Sentencing to Improve Public Safety and Reduce Recidivism

One of the most important reforms in state sentencing and corrections taking place today is the incorporation of principles of “evidence-based practice” (EBP) into state sentencing and corrections policy and practice. Over the past fifteen years there has emerged a voluminous body of rigorous research demonstrating that certain research-based approaches to corrections and sentencing can effectively change offender behavior and significantly reduce offender recidivism. This free on-line course was designed to inform judges about this research and help them incorporate EBP into their sentencing decisions and practices. Taught by Dr. Geraldine Nagy, Director of Travis County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, and the Hon. Roger K. Warren, President Emeritus of the National Center for State Courts, the course consists of 24 content modules that include nearly 4.5 hours of video presentations.


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Free DVDs

 

Implementing Peformance Measures for Children: A Training Program

Click here to order a free copy of this DVD

This DVD deals with the nine key measures for children in courts, how to achieve timely permanency, and also features a PDF on Tools for Judicial Oversight which is available on the DVD-ROM portion of the disc. This DVD is a great way to start the necessary converations regarding how to establish permanency in the lives of children involved in the court system.

This DVD was created through a cooperative effort between the National Center for State Courts, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges with funding from the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Election Controversies: The Basics of Election-Related Litigation

Click here to order a free copy of this DVD

In the past ten years, we have seen a dramatic increase in election-related litigation in the United States. Legal challenges to election results are now a common part of our democratic process. But there is considerable confusion about the law that governs our elections.

The purpose of this resource is to enhance our understanding of the basics of election law and election-related litigation. These video presentations will be of interest to judges who are called upon to resolve these disputes, as well as lawyers, journalists, and others interested in our electoral process.

Additional information can be found on the Election Law Website, which contains a variety of resources to help you better understand the basics of election-related litigation.

This DVD was created through a joint venture of the College of William and Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts.