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Fostering Innovation in the U.S. Court System: Identifying High-Priority Technology and Other Needs for Improving Court Operations and Outcomes

NCJ Number
Date Published
165 pages
This report presents the results of the Courts Advisory Panel, a group convened in fiscal year 2015 as part of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system for the purpose of identifying current challenges and innovation needs in the U.S. court system.
The findings presented in this report should be of interest primarily to organizations and individuals involved in technology planning, research funding, and product development related to the U.S. court system. The Courts Advisory Panel was composed of judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and court administrators from across the country. Using a structured brainstorming process, the Panel identified the problems courts currently face and the resources courts need to address these problems. The Panel's initial list of just over 130 needs covered a wide range of issues, from technology and training to changes in legislation and shifts in funding models for the courts. The list of needs was equally split between two broad areas: 1) needs related to information and communications (including both information technology and the application of data collection, analysis, and other tools); and 2) innovations in doctrine and knowledge regarding the courts' governing policies and how the courts perform their tasks. Relatively few of the needs were related to court facilities. The needs were first broken into three tiers based on the combination of their value and likelihood of success, and then needs meeting the definition of high value or "low-hanging fruit" were identified. 17 figures, 11 tables, approximately 200 references, and appended Panel members, pre-meeting questionnaire, Panel agenda, and detailed methodology

Date Published: January 1, 2016