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2022 Annual Report reflects on the reimagining of courts

2022 Annual Report reflects on the reimagining of courts

April 12, 2023 --It’s no secret that global and national events have prompted major changes and a focus on innovation in the courts over the past few years. How courts have chosen to respond to these events has inspired NCSC to “reimagine” its own efforts.

Reimagine: Annual Report 2022 showcases the continued focus by courts to achieve greater public trust in the rule of law and the judiciary, both domestically and abroad, and provides vivid examples of NCSC’s supporting role. From approaches to racial justice and diversity to the delivery of court services, this year in review demonstrates NCSC’s focused work on improving efficiency and effectiveness to deliver equal justice for all.

CCJ President and Indiana Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush and NCSC President Mary C. McQueen note that in turbulent times there is nothing more important than the public’s trust in both the rule of law and the judiciary.

“This Annual Report provides a look at what NCSC and the courts are doing, both here and abroad, to reimagine themselves and improve—perhaps restore— that trust,” they write in the report’s opening message.

One example: the report highlights the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness, which completed its multi-year study to find solutions to address the needs of court-involved individuals with severe mental illness in the fall of 2022.

“My hope for the future is that we will fully implement the recommendations of the task force and in doing so a chorus of voices across the country will lead to true change by developing a comprehensive system of care with appropriate off ramps from the criminal justice system,” said task force member Judge Nan G. Waller, a Multnomah County (Oregon) circuit judge who is also recognized in the report as the winner of NCSC’s 2022 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence.

In addition to mental health, NCSC continues to support a charge from the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators to improve racial equality by intensifying efforts to ensure all court users are heard and respected by the nation’s justice system. The Blueprint for Racial Justice and projects like “Improving Diversity in the Delaware Bench and Bar Strategic Plan Report and Recommendations” are helping courts implement systemic change.

Read Reimagine: Annual Report 2022 in its entirety at