Massachusetts Office of Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth and Jury Management Advisory Committee
The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has selected the Massachusetts Office of Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth and Jury Management Advisory Committee as recipients of its 2011 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation. The award will be presented to the recipients by Robert N. Baldwin, NCSC executive vice president and general counsel, at the John Adams Courthouse in Boston, Mass., on Oct. 13.
The award is named for G. Thomas Munsterman, founder and former director of NCSC's Center for Jury Studies and an internationally renowned innovator in jury systems and research. The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations, or individuals that have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations, and practices.
Among the specific achievements being recognized is the recipients' use of innovative technologies — such as Massachusetts' new jury automation system — to support improvement efforts. The jury automation system contributed to, among other improvements, a more efficient juror list creation process and more comprehensive demographic data collection, both of which improved juror yield and utilization and resulted in dramatic reductions in summonses issued and savings of more than a million dollars annually for the Massachusetts trial courts.
Improved technologies also have led to better customer service to jurors, including the development of a website that allows jurors to manage all aspects of their responses to summonses online and provides information about cancellation status, directions to the court, reminders, and more. In addition, a new juror orientation video was introduced to the public on July 5 and is available online. (Link is to WMV file.)