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Setting a Strategy for Justice

Under the leadership of a newly appointed court administrator, The Ripples Group assisted a State Judiciary in the development of its strategic plan to address user needs, improve case management, enhance access to justice, and further develop its workforce.

When a state legislature created the Court Administrator position and the new appointee assumed the role in 2012, one of the first initiatives he started was the strategic planning process to define the reform agenda for the coming years. The Ripples Group was retained to collaborate with the State Judiciary and Capital Planning Agency, the primary objective of which was to develop a vision for 2025 and a roadmap towards that vision with specific goals and strategies.


Ripples facilitated the entire strategic effort, carrying out a detailed diagnostic of the court system and facilitating an intensive engagement process with internal and external stakeholders, in addition to completing financial and data analysis, primary and secondary research and benchmarking efforts. The diagnostic and collaborative efforts led to a shared vision, strategic goals, strategies and detailed tactical plans with clear milestones.

 

The plans were approved by the State Supreme Court and implementation began even before approval. In parallel, Ripples designed a new governance model that has been successfully deployed, improving decision-making and collaboration across the court system. Ripples has also supported various work streams in the implementation. Notable accomplishments from the strategic planning effort include:

   - Creation of more than 40 specialty court sessions (e.g. adult and juvenile drug courts, veterans court,

     homelessness court, and mental health courts) across the State to reduce recidivism and address underlying

     issues which drive criminal behavior

   - Complete roll out of a single IT case management system across all Departments and divisions

   - Development of a resource allocation guide to inform courthouse staffing requirements

   - Implementation of staggered court scheduling and expanded hours of operation to accommodate users

   - A #2 overall ranking (out of all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico) by the National Center for Access to Justice for

     implementation of access to justice best practices

   - Launching of a new State Judiciary website

   - Initial implementation of electronic case filing and electronic application for criminal complaint in select court

     locations

   - Implementation of an online Attorney Portal

   - Roll out of Court Service Centers to assist court users in the judicial process

The high-level State Judiciary strategy is publicly available and accessible using the following link: State Judiciary Strategic Plan.