Celebrating unprecedented opportunities in 2022
December 28, 2022 -- Working with courts around the country and the globe, the National Center for State Courts encouraged innovation and greater access to justice in 2022.
NCSC led initiatives to respond to societal issues like eviction, mental health and racial justice concerns while also addressing new and emerging demands on court administration such as hybrid hearings and clearing pandemic-era backlogs.
In February, NCSC released findings from its study of remote hearings in Texas. The study found that remote proceedings take about a third longer than in-person hearings but also provide increased access to justice, as litigants can more easily attend and participate.
In June, NCSC announced a $10 million gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation to assist courts with strengthening eviction diversion efforts and improving housing stability. Eight states and the District of Columbia are participating in the Eviction Diversion Initiative, and additional jurisdictions will join the project in 2023.
In October, the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness released its findings and recommendations following a multi-year investigation that explored how state courts can better meet the needs of court-involved individuals with serious mental illness.
Through the Blueprint for Racial Justice, NCSC worked with state court leaders to develop best practices, resources, and other tools to help identify systemic barriers that create inequities and threaten greater racial justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the courts.
Meanwhile, NCSC developed an interactive backlog reduction simulator to assist administrators with identifying where backlogs are occurring and offering solutions to mitigate problems.
NCSC also worked with several technology vendors to launch the hybrid hearings improvement initiative. Through 2023, our team will work with 12 jurisdictions to pilot a project that provides technical and operational support for permanent adoption of hybrid hearings.
To spread the word about all these projects and many others, NCSC offered over 60 webinars to more than 15,000 registrants this year. Beyond webinars, the Center received more than 82,000 views to its video content that features an array of educational videos. Bite-sized Tiny Chats interviews focused on access to justice and court operations topics.
Looking forward to 2023, NCSC will continue its work to promote fair and efficient court administration by encouraging public trust and confidence through activities like its civics education essay contest and ongoing programming to disarm disinformation and lessen its impact on the courts.
Happy new year from everyone at NCSC! Here’s to more great opportunities in 2023!