@TheCenter from NCSC


Now playing: NCSC’s new podcast—Court Talk

Is Judge Judy reality TV or court reality? NCSC’s new podcast Court Talk explores that question as it examines how the public’s trust and confidence in the courts is influenced by popular culture. Court Talk launches today at www.courttalk.org. Court television shows, such as Judge Judy and Making a Murderer reflect the “outgrowth of the public’s curiosity . . .  they want to be a little bit of Judge Judy, to bring their own analysis,” said California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Court Talk’s first guest. Moderator Jesse Rutledge, NCSC vice-president of External Affairs, and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye discuss whether court TV shows help or hurt educate the public about the justice system. “They are a starting point,” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye says. “Courtrooms are open to the public, but the public rarely ventures there . . .  (TV shows) let them know something important is happening within these four walls.” Each month, Court Talk will focus on a hot topic that exposes the intersection between courts and current events. Share your thoughts about each episode by subscribing to the Court Talk Connected Community. Visit our website for current, future, and past episodes at www.courttalk.org.



NCSC is ally in initiative for fair and effective use of jails

Eleven court jurisdictions recently were awarded grants of between $1.7 million and $3.5 million to reduce the overuse of jails and address racial and ethnic disparities in their justice systems. The grants—totaling nearly $25 million to be disbursed over the next two years—are part of the Safety and Justice Challenge initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additionally, nine jurisdictions are receiving $150,000 grants to continue their jail reform efforts. As a strategic ally, the National Center for State Courts is working to build awareness of the initiative, promote the need for jail reform more broadly across the country, and encourage courts not directly involved in this project to undertake jail reform. NCSC’s work with the Safety and Justice Challenge builds on our ongoing work to advance pretrial justice (www.ncsc.org/pjcc) and evidence-based sentencing and corrections reform (www.ncsc.org/csi). The 11 jurisdictions are Charleston County, South Carolina; Harris County, Texas; Lucas County, Ohio; Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pima County, Arizona; Spokane County, Washington; State of Connecticut; and St. Louis County, Missouri.


NCSC partnering with NAPCO for inaugural Court Leadership Academy and Conference

 NCSC is partnering with the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO), a newly formed organization of top state and local administrative judges and chief court administrators, to hold the first nationwide Court Leadership Conference September 25-28 in Cleveland, Ohio. Presiding judges and court executives in state and local courts are encouraged to attend as teams. Participants will take part in a Leadership Academy facilitated by the National Center and the Center for Applied Research (CFAR) and engage in a series of workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday covering civil justice reform; new approaches to fines, fees, and bail setting; ethics for court leaders; and the science behind court employee motivation. Registration, hotel, and conference agenda information are available on NAPCO’s website at www.napco4courtleaders.org.  


2015 Annual Report: The Faces of NCSC

NCSC released its 2015 Annual Report this week, showcasing our wide-ranging work, the people who make it happen, and those who support it. In the report, The Faces of NCSC, we celebrate the collection of people who work in the justice system, those it serves, and those it protects. From reforming civil justice to improving best practices in local courts to analyzing caseload statistics, NCSC’s work reaches across the country and throughout the world. NCSC is fortunate to work side-by-side with court leaders, court staff, and dedicated individuals who are conducting that work and who are committed to improving the administration of justice.


NCSC to co-host webinars on Criminal Disposition Reporting and Warrant Management

NCSC and SEARCH are hosting webinars to support states that need assistance with improving  warrant management and criminal disposition reporting. The Criminal Disposition Reporting webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 20 from 2-3 EST. Dawn Peck, manager of the Bureau of Criminal Identification, Idaho State Police, and Chris Duryea, research attorney for Connecticut Judicial Branch, Superior Court Operations, will discuss such improvements in their states.  During the Warrant Management webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, April 27 from 2-3 EST, Stacey L. Kirk, interagency coordinator for the Office of the State Court Administrator in Colorado, and Patrick Priel, ACJIS supervisor for the Scottsdale Police Department in Arizona, will discuss warrant management improvements in their states.  In both webinars, NCSC will introduce participants to the Warrant and Disposition Toolkit and demonstrate best practices and technology standards to guide justice partners in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of warrant and disposition reporting.


NCSC reading room

The birth of a child confers no special “legal status” upon the relationship of the child’s parents. Instead, the law relies on marriage, contracts, and other remedies to set the parents’ legal obligations. In A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law, Merle H. Weiner, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon Law School, argues that this approach is outdated. She proposes a new, legal “parent-partner status” to both deter uncommitted parents from having children and encourage parents to act as supportive partners in raising children. This book is available from the NCSC Library.

The juvenile justice system involves many participants beyond the courts, such as schools and child protective services. This month’s Trends in State Courts article discusses how courts are uniquely positioned to lead the charge for reforming this multifaceted system and ensuring positive outcomes for juveniles.
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