In July of 2020, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) resolved to “intensify efforts to combat racial prejudice within the justice system, both explicit and implicit, and recommit to examine what systemic change is needed to make equality under the law an enduring reality for all, so that justice is not only fair to all but also is recognized by all to be fair.”
To conduct the system-wide self-assessments many state court leaders seek, courts need comprehensive guidance on where to begin, what information to collect and how to evaluate it, and what actions they can take next. This is a complex undertaking that encompasses the entirety of the work of the court and must address a wide range of organizational issues that courts may face. With guidance from members of the Blueprint for Racial Justice and a grant from the State Justice Institute, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) developed the Racial Justice Organizational Assessment Tool for Courts to support courts engaged in this work.
Project Final Report. The project final report explains the purpose of the Racial Justice Organizational Assessment Tool for Courts, provides background on the development of the tool, and outlines suggestions for its use by courts. Also provided are the complete set of assessment questions and corresponding guidance that comprise the Racial Justice Organizational Assessment Tool for Courts, as well as a link to the interactive web version of the tool. The appendix includes a brief on data-driven decision making for courts, which illustrates how courts can use data and evidence to guide policy and practice decisions that promote court ideals of fairness and equal justice.
Brief. A brief on data-driven decision making for courts is included in the appendix of the Project Final Report (listed above) but is also shared separately here.
Interactive Tool. Complete the interactive, web-based version of the Racial Justice Organizational Assessment Tool for Courts via this link to produce a customized report with guidance tailored to your court. The interactive tool is free and anonymous to use.