Principles and Policy

Specific steps and policies courts can take or have taken to address racial justice.

State court statements on racial justice

State court leaders from around the country have issued numerous statements on the cause of racial justice. Our round-up includes statements from Chief Justices, entire state Supreme Courts, and trial courts.

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Resolution 1 (2020) In Support of Racial Equality and Justice for All

CCJ/COSCA resolution to continue and to intensify efforts to combat racial prejudice within the justice system

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Resolution 4 (2018) In Support of Rules Regarding Default Judgments in Debt Collection Cases

CCJ/COSCA resolution noting that debt collection litigation disproportionately affects some racial minorities.

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The Role of Courts in Eliminating the Racial Impact of Criminal Justice Debt (2017)

"Over the past two years, the harms associated with criminal justice debt have gained widespread attention, which has sparked promising momentum for reforms. Central to understanding those harms is identifying the racially disparate effects of practices in jurisdictions around the country— courts should champion reforms to eliminate those disparities."

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Principles on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices (2016)

Produced by the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices, Principle 4.1 provides that "Courts should adopt policies and follow practices that promote fairness and equal treatment. Courts should acknowledge that their fines, fees, and bail practices may have a disparate impact on the poor and on racial and ethnic minorities and their communities."

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Resolution 2 (2016) Reaffirming Support for the Re-authorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act

CCJ/COSCA resolution adopted in support of reauthorization Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act and that the Act should include Strengthening the Disproportionate Minority Contact Core Mandate and Provide Resources to Assist State Courts to Clearly Define and Articulate Data that Should be Collected: To reduce racial and ethnic disparity, the key decision points in the juvenile justice system and the criteria by which decisions are made must be identified and data must be collected at every point of contact that juveniles have with the juvenile justice system to identify where disparities exist, the causes of those disparities, and corrective actions needed.


Resolution 6 (2015) Commending the Models for Change Initiative

CCJ/COSCA resolution noting the Models for Change Initiative has supported a broad array of goals, including:
reducing racial and ethnic disparities.