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Annual Publication

Trends in State Courts 2018 examines how courts are meeting the changing needs of society. Articles on human trafficking, opioid abuse, immigration enforcement, and other topics discuss what courts are doing, or need to do, to confront these important issues.

  • New York State’s Opioid Intervention Court
    Hon. Janet DiFiore

    Opioid addiction has reached crisis levels in the United States. The Opioid Intervention Court in Buffalo New York, serves as a model other state courts could follow to fight this epidemic.

  • Florida’s Early Childhood Initiative
    John Couch

    Early Childhood Court is a new type of problem-solving court in Florida that focuses on infants and toddlers in dependency court. Using specified core components, this differentiated case management approach has already demonstrated statistically significant positive outcomes for Florida’s children and families.

  • A Firm Foothold: Establishing the Judiciary’s Role in the National Response to Human Trafficking
    Abigail Hill

    Courts are uniquely positioned to see the many faces of human trafficking. This article tells you how the Maryland Judiciary is becoming better equipped to identify and address human-trafficking issues, what it has learned, and its plans for the future.

  • Florida’s GRACE Court
    Hon. Mari Sampedro-Iglesia

    GRACE Court is the first unified, trauma-informed human-trafficking court in the nation. It was developed to comprehensively address all the needs of the young human-trafficking survivors who appear in the juvenile court of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida.

  • Peacemaking Programs Offer State Courts an Alternative Path
    Nora Sydow

    Peacemaking is a form of Native American justice that stresses reconciliation over adversarial court processes. Can peacemaking be applied to state courts?

  • Changing Times, Changing Relationships for the Bench and Civil Bar
    Paula Hannaford-Agor

    For the past century, the interests of the bench and bar in delivering justice to civil litigants were closely aligned. As civil litigants’ needs change, courts recognize they must lead the way on civil justice reforms both for their own sake and to encourage productive change in civil legal practice.

  • Developing a Research Agenda for Access to Justice
    Pamela Cardullo Ortiz

    Courts can achieve the promise of access to justice for all by embracing human-centered design. A research agenda built on legal-design principles will enable courts to ground future investments in scientifically rigorous, user-driven innovation and evaluation.

  • Responding to the Clash Between Access to Justice and Immigration Arrests in State Court Facilities
    James D. Gingerich

    Changes in federal immigration enforcement policies can affect not only state court operations, but also public attitudes about appearing in court. How should state and local courts respond to federal immigration enforcement activities in and around their facilities?

  • Promoting Access to Justice for Immigrant Crime Victims and Children: Findings of a National Judicial Survey and Recommendations
    Rafaela Rodrigues, Leslye E. Orloff, Amanda Couture-Carron, and Nawal H. Ammar

    Immigrant crime victims are becoming more common in state courts. A national survey of judges in 2017 provides a look at what types of cases involving immigrants and their families are appearing in the courts.

  • When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court?
    Di Graski and Paul Embley

    The verifiable integrity of Blockchain records, linked and secured using cryptography, could soon be used in a variety of innovative ways to resolve court recordkeeping challenges. At the same time, Blockchain presents new legal issues that courts must be prepped to address.

  • Cybersecurity: Protecting Court Data Assets
    Brian J. McLaughlin

    State court systems are guardians of sensitive data for individuals and organizations. To best address the threat of a cyberattack, internal coordination and external collaboration are essential in data governance.

Reports are part of the National Center for State Courts' "Report on Trends in State Courts" and "Future Trends in State Courts" series.
Opinions herein are those of the authors, not necessarily of the National Center for State Courts.