Annual Report 2022

Cover image of 2022 Annual Report cover
An excerpt from the message from the president and chair of the board of directors

The courts’ enduring mission is to provide all those who appear before them a fair, impartial, and accessible justice system. But a traditional courthouse, with its marble columns and elaborate entry ways, can present an imposing edifice. Similarly, literature, movies, and television often provide an indelible image of how courts conduct trials: a somber courtroom, a stern judge, combative attorneys, and attentive jurors and spectators. While these features can symbolize stability and inspire reverence, courts must always ensure that they are fulfilling their mission for all individuals, which, in turn, increases public trust in both the Rule of Law and the judiciary.

And, as we have all seen in recent years, events have a way of forcing necessary change.

… Courts across the country responded by making necessary changes to improve how they fulfill their mission for all individuals. And the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has been a tremendous resource, providing courts with support, research, and technical assistance to tackle these challenges and others. NCSC works closely with the state courts on several initiatives, including the Blueprint for Racial Justice, the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness, the Justice for All Initiative, and the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices. The goal in each of these endeavors is improving court operations to better serve the public.

In turbulent times, nothing is more important than the public’s trust in both the Rule of Law and the judiciary. This Annual Report provides a look at what NCSC and the courts are doing, both here and abroad, to reimagine themselves and improve — perhaps restore— that trust.

Past Annual Reports

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