The National Center for State Courts launched a public awareness campaign several years ago to educate the public about how the courts work. The central effort of this campaign was to develop a series of graphic novels, called Justice Case Files (JCF), which engage the reader while giving insight into how judges make decisions, how the courts protect the public, and why courts are so important to a democratic society.
The story lines and content were developed by judges, court administrators, and other legal professionals. Two Virginia social studies teachers developed comprehensive lesson plans for each of the first three books, as well as the sixth book.
Justice Case Files 1: The Case of Internet Piracy tells the story of Megan, a college freshman charged with downloading music, and her grandmother who has received notice that the city plans to take her house through eminent domain.
Justice Case Files 2: The Case of Stolen Identity tells the story of the Garcia family, whose identity is stolen through an email phishing scam.
Justice Case Files 3: The Case of Jury Duty tells the story of Matthew Foley, an 18-year-old who has been summoned for jury duty on a case that involves underage drinking and driving. Readers learn how meaningful jury service is, how the jury system is a source of accountability for courts, and how our society benefits from the right of a jury of your peers.
Justice Case Files 4: The Case of the Broken Controller is a narrative coloring book available to download for free. This book tells the story of Tyler, who wants justice because he says his friend broke his videogame controller. Through Tyler’s journey for justice, we hope you will learn about the court system, how it protects you and your family and about the men and women who work in the courts.
Justice Case Files 5: The Case of the Cyberbully tells the story of Amber, who is bullied at school and online by classmate Madison. The bullying escalates to the point the case winds up in juvenile court.
Justice Case Files 6: The Case of No Pets Allowed tells the story of the Ruiz family, who has received an eviction notice from their landlord because they own a dog. The parents speak minimal English and rely on their teenage son, who is bilingual, for English translation. The book follows the family through the court process of fighting the eviction but not understanding the process because of language barriers.