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Hybrid Hearings Improvement Initiative

Hybrid hearings This one-year project will provide state and local courts an opportunity to learn from and improve upon pandemic-era best practices and to create permanent changes to their hearing practices. Grants will be awarded to 10 to 20 jurisdictions to support the cost of technology equipment and installation of the equipment in at least one courtroom in the jurisdiction, integration with existing systems (when appropriate) and technical assistance to support preliminary operation of the equipment. Additionally, NCSC staff will evaluate the utility of the technology and impact on hearing participants.

Grant requirements and expectations

Applications can be submitted by tribal, state or local courts. Federal courts may submit applications, but priority will be given to tribal, state and local courts.

Requirements for grant recipients include:

  • Collect and share in-person, remote, and hybrid hearing court data with NCSC evaluators;
  • Permit NCSC evaluators to observe court hearings remotely;
  • Provide NCSC evaluators with contact information for court participants;
  • Receive technical assistance and support from NCSC staff and other HHII partners; and
  • Provide feedback to NCSC staff on the effectiveness of the hybrid hearing technology equipment.

How to apply

All applications and supporting materials should be submitted electronically by Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Applicants may also be asked to participate in a virtual site visit as part of the application process.

Final pilot site decisions will be made by the advisory board by in July. Site selection will be based on several criteria, including a demonstrated interest in improving hybrid hearing effectiveness, the ability to work collaboratively, an openness to creative and innovative thinking about the future of courts, and the ability to share requested data to evaluate the project’s efforts. The advisory board also seeks to fund a diverse group of jurisdictions from different geographic regions, various court sizes and structures, and courts that focus on various case types.

Apply here.

Resources

Timeline

Application deadline

July 13, 2022

Pilot sites announced

July 22, 2022 (estimated)

Pilot site implementation begins

August 2022

Evaluation period for pilot sites

September-November 2022

Guidelines/best practices report released

January 2023

Contact

Additional questions can be sent to Alecia Burke.

Project supported by

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