May 25, 2022

Jury diversity and its role in promoting confidence in the court system

Over 50 years ago, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall observed, “When any large and identifiable segment of the community is excluded from jury service… its exclusion deprives the jury of a perspective on human events that may have unsuspected importance in any case that may be presented.” This webinar reviews behavioral science research on how a group’s composition affects its dynamics and performance, and the ways in which jury diversity adds to the deliberative process and bolsters confidence in our court system.

April 20, 2022

Implementation challenges and opportunities roundtable

In this session, legal system professionals from a few jurisdictions share the different paths their jurisdictions took to improve the fairness and effectiveness of their pretrial systems. Their presentation included a discussion about the issues you face and the tools you have or lack to address these issues in your quest to improve your pretrial systems. Faculty is available to provide practical suggestions for getting started on your path to improvement.

April 13, 2022

Cost & fines: How a community conversation changed lives in the Ocean State

This session demonstrates how the power of strong community partnerships and “off the bench” direct engagement can drive reform, bridge the trust gap between judicial officers and court users and change lives. The session also highlights Rhode Island’s unprecedented “Cost & Fines” statewide initiative, lessons learned from the pilot program and practical tools and resources that participants can use to launch a similar program in their respective state or jurisdictions.

April 6, 2022

Research on Pretrial Assessment, Release and Detention

This session covers information essential for advancing the pretrial system in your state. Topics include the empirical research, important issues and practical considerations of pretrial assessment; actuarial assessment tools, including bias and disparity; the effectiveness of pretrial release conditions; and the harms of pretrial detention. Participants learn how the empirical research has supported the historical and legal foundations of the pretrial system in the United States.

March 23, 2022

Pretrial Historical and Legal Foundations

The history of bail (pretrial release) and “no bail” (pretrial detention), along with the overarching legal principles intertwined with that history, have been integral parts of judicial education in this generation of pretrial reform. The history and legal principles are frequently seen in court opinions as well as in un-pressured attempts to make improvements to the criminal pretrial systems in the states. This webinar covers historical notions of release/detain in both England and America, the rise and fall of various legal claims surrounding bail, numerous threads of outside pressure leading to change and the articulation of various future release/detain models likely to be adopted in America.

Webinar materials.

February 24, 2022

Courageous conversations: Who? What? How?

Missouri attorney and diversity trainer Dana Tippin Cutler covers timely topics including micro-aggressions, trigger words and implicit bias. She also shares important tips on how to avoid missteps and discusses ways to make diversity, equity and inclusion a way of life.

Webinar materials.

December 8, 2021

What’s next? Maintaining momentum on the path to your racial justice blueprint

This webinar continues our journey by exploring various approaches taken by your colleagues to track their progress, maintain momentum and overcome challenges that arise. Members of the Communications and Implementation Working Group of NCSC’s Racial Justice Blueprint Initiative address these issues and more.

Webinar materials.

October 13, 2021

Lessons learned on the path to creating a racial justice blueprint

As state and local courts across the country continue their efforts to combat racial prejudice, there are valuable lessons to be learned from colleagues’ challenges and successes in transitioning from words to actionable reform. Hear from Chief Justices and staff involved in the day-to-day facilitation of strategic plans.

Webinar materials.