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Court Space Innovation Workshop informs, inspires new design thinking

Court Space Innovation Workshop informs, inspires new design thinking

August 9, 2023 -- Building partnerships with funders, developing compelling business cases for long-term needs, and communicating enhanced public service were among the best practices shared by court professionals attending the Court Space Innovation Challenge workshop earlier this summer.

Thirteen courts gathered in Indianapolis in late June to learn about national court space innovation efforts and to hear how local jurisdictions are adopting modern design thinking to meet current and future needs.

Earlier this year, NCSC asked courts to submit court space planning and design examples for an opportunity to receive technical assistance and participate in the summer workshop funded by a State Justice Institute grant.

During the workshop, project teams gave presentations that focused on four major court space innovation themes:

  • Rethinking Adjudication Spaces
  • Enhancing Office and Public Service Environments
  • Implementing Courtroom Technology/Hybrid Courtrooms
  • Renovating Historic Courts

One of the spaces featured was the workshop venue, the new Indianapolis Community Justice Center. According to Marion County Superior Court Chief Technology Officer Amitav Thamba, the 12-story courthouse building has an adjacent county jail and a new building for the probation department. It also features collaborative spaces for judges and staff; secure access to facilities; ubiquitous access to immersive technologies; automated courtroom scheduling; exhibits and evidence display in the courtrooms; work rooms for attorney-client meetings; and accessible information for the public using kiosks and display boards.

“Participants headed back to their courts energized and inspired by the work of their peers and armed with information about new ideas for the planning and design of courthouses,” said NCSC Principal Court Management Consultant Nathan Hall.

Attendees also left the workshop with strategies to deal with the costs of building and renovating court space and the tendency to revert to established precedents and traditional courthouse models.

“New paradigms, including the focus on enhanced public access to the courts and the need to leverage technology to operate courts more effectively, can inform the physical environment in profound ways,” Hall added. “The court participants agreed that the need for physical court space is not going away but also agreed that technology and the increase in virtual services provided by courts should inform the shape, size, and configuration of courthouses moving forward."

Deadline extended: UX Capers Challenge entries due Aug. 16

Courts are changing the ways they engage with customers, and we want to showcase your best user experience (UX) projects at CTC 2023.

Your work will inspire others to take their UX efforts to the next level – and you’ll also be eligible to win prizes!

Entering the UX Court Capers Challenge is easy. Just send us a photo, narrative, or video that explains why your practice or technology is exceptional, how the UX can be improved, and what lessons were learned along the way. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, Aug. 16.

Visit UX Court Capers Challenge to enter today!