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Court input needed for new Census of State Courts

Court input needed for new Census of State Courts

February 22, 2023 -- What data can help the public and court community better understand how state courts are organized and structured? Is there confusion about funding or jurisdictional reach? Or maybe the misunderstandings stem from operational considerations?

We want to hear your thoughts as we kick off a new, three-year Census of State Courts project.

Funded by a $584,762 grant award from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the census will build on NCSC’s State Court Organization data to provide a comprehensive list of U.S. courts that includes detailed information about staffing, operations, and jurisdictional reach.

“Once complete, the Census of State Courts will be an invaluable resource for court leaders articulating resource needs, state and federal leaders making policy decisions and researchers creating informed comparisons. It will also enhance the public’s understanding of the judiciary,” said Nicole Waters, NCSC’s Director of Research Services. “With these data, decision-makers can turn to a single resource to compare and contrast how state courts operate around the country.”

NCSC will partner with the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) and National Association for Court Management (NACM) to identify priorities for data collection that will enhance knowledge about state courts around the country. Data collected from the courts will be verified, cleaned, and analyzed before census results are made available to the public.

“For years, there has been a growing need for this level of state court information,” said Karl R. Hade, President of the Conference of State Court Administrators and the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia. “These data will create a baseline to evaluate how to structure court organizations in the most efficient and effective way possible.”

Jeffrey Tsunekawa, NACM President and Director of Research and Court Services for the Texas Office of Court Administration, added, “This deep dive into how state courts operate—at both the trial and appellate court levels—is significant and critical in helping courts deliver better services to all court users.”

Share your ideas about what data will help explain the significance of state courts via email at

NCSC Civics Education Essay Contest opens today

Each year, we invite elementary, middle, and high school students from around the country to enter our civics education essay contest. The contest is designed to promote civics education and deepen students’ understanding of U.S. government.

The success of the contest would not be possible without your assistance. We rely on educators, nonprofit organizations, court partners, and others to help us spread the word.

Visit to discover this year’s essay questions/prompts, entry guidelines, promotional materials, and more! Please use these materials to post to your social media and email contacts.

Essays will be accepted online through midnight ET, Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Winners will be announced on May 1.

Please contact Molly Justice for additional information.

Enter Here