Tags: Courts, Disability: Mental Health, Disability: Physical, Pro Se/Self-Help, Research/Data
Equality in access to justice is vital, but in Illinois, the disparity appears to be significant, says this editorial.
Tags: Justice Gap | Research/Data
Only Oklahoma ranks lower than Kentucky when it comes to how the state’s court system serves its low-income and disabled population. On a 100-point scale, Kentucky comes in at 33.4 percent.
Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public.
In recent days, The Justice Index has garnered significant media coverage about its rankings of states based on whether their respective state justice systems have adopted best practices for assuring access to justice.
Stories from Illinois, Kentucky, Hawaii, Connecticut and Oklahoma, for example, indicate that reporters are drawn to findings contained in The Justice Index about the number of civil legal aid lawyers, support for self represented litigants, systems for language assistance, and disability assistance. The leading and trailing states in the Justice Index’s composite index have been especially likely to attract reporter interest, and there has also been coverage of progress in adopting specific best practices.
Regardless of how your state is ranked, The Justice Index is likely to contain some findings that can inspire reporters and editorial writers to write about the issues that you consider most important. You can also use it to add to stories that you are pitching to reporters for independent reasons. Here are a few of the subjects covered in The Justice Index:
- How many civil legal aid lawyers are available for low income people in your state?
- Does your state court system dedicate an employee to helping unrepresented people?
- Does the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct authorize judges to help self represented litigants?
- Do state courts provide certified interpreters in all civil and criminal matters?
- Does your state court provide interpreters at clerks’ desks?
- Is there an ADA liaison in your state court system?
Please email us for help pitching your local reporters, and please feel free to email David Udell, firstname.lastname@example.org, at the National Center for Access to Justice about how you can best use The Justice Index. NCAJ would also welcome your ideas for ways to improve The Justice Index.
Reporters are looking for fresh stories, especially stories based on data, and can use The Justice Index to write about issues important to your clients, your community, your courts and your program. Please let us know if we can help you work with reporters to take full advantage of this new resource.
The Justice Index highlights best practices, which can help states replicate successful models adopted by their neighbors.
Tags: Research/Data | Technology