ENGAGE! Toolkit

As state court systems move to address issues related to racial justice, NCSC has gathered the most recent and relevant work to inform and assist the courts with this endeavor.

About the Toolkit

The ENGAGE! Toolkit was created via a collaboration involving the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center (NUPPC), researchers from Michigan State University (MSU), and six "pilot" teams. Generous support for these efforts was provided by the State Justice Institute (SJI).

After a nationwide call for proposals, six public engagement pilot projects were selected from an exciting and diverse group of proposals. Over the course of the project, the pilot teams:

  • received resources and support
  • worked both individually and collaboratively with the other teams and NCSC/NUPPC to engage their communities
  • gathered data to evaluate the effectiveness of their engagements

The toolkit is intended not as an endpoint, but as a beginning point.  The vision is that the courts - who are both users and makers of the toolkit - will help to continually advance understanding of how courts can best engage the public to overcome social inequities and bias and build trust.

Getting Started

Getting Ready: Learning about Trust and Public Engagement

Learn about public engagement, trust, and how public engagement can be used to build trust in and among communities and courts. Learn about the reasons why courts may conduct engagements, and what they hope to achieve.

Public Engagement Step-by-Step

Effective engagement requires knowing your goals, then planning and partnering with others you recruit, careful implementation of the engagement activities, and then evaluating your efforts and reflecting on what you learn so that you can use it for future improvements.

Step 4: Following-Up and Maintaining Momentum

You want your court's engagement efforts to be more than a one time event.  Read about how the pilot projects plan to sustain public engagement over time.