2021: An eventful 50th year for NCSC
As the year comes to a close, NCSC reflects back on a busy 50th year in our commitment to promoting the rule of law and improving the administration of justice. Read on for an abbreviated list of our 2021 accomplishments:
- This month, we launched an $11.5-million grant program – the largest in our history – to start the Eviction Diversion Initiative. Program funding will help jurisdictions transform their eviction courts into problem-solving courts and improve the way they handle eviction cases. Our application process is open through January 21, 2022.
- Led by the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators, the Pandemic Rapid Response Team (RRT) continued to produce dozens of resources for courts as they navigate pandemic-driven challenges and opportunities. The work of the RRT continued with the launch of the Implementation Lab. Over 50 jurisdictions across 22 states and two territories participated in this national learning community. Our 2021 State of the State Courts survey provided real-time feedback on public attitudes to remote hearings and services.
- We responded to a pledge from state court leaders to improve a system in which “too many persons, especially persons of color, lack confidence in the fairness of our courts and our criminal justice system” by leading the Blueprint for Racial Justice initiative. We also announced plans to establish a racial justice resource center and develop a data-driven tool to guide court leaders.
- We continued our support for the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness. The task force is establishing a framework to divert cases from the court system and move people with mental health issues out of jails and into community services that can address their needs. This year, the task force adopted a detailed work plan that outlines its objectives for the next two years.
- The newly-created Rural Justice Collaborative is calling attention to the challenges that people in rural areas face getting access to legal help, behavioral health treatment and job training, among other services.
- We worked in countries throughout the world to enhance justice systems worldwide. One example of our work is a recently completed five-year effort to help courts in the northern African nation of Tunisia become more efficient, modern and accessible.
- We resumed in-person conferences by hosting the 2021 Court Technology Conference in September in Columbus, Ohio. Sessions focused on information and cybersecurity issues, the weaponization of social media and lessons learned from the pandemic.
Explore our website to learn more about our work.