Justice Index


Launched 2014 by the National Center for Access to Justice (NCAJ), this website presents data comparing the performance of state-based justice systems in assuring access to justice.
http://www.justiceindex.org/

Primary geographic focus: NATIONAL, STATE COMPARISONS
Organization type(s): Research/Policy/Organizing
Acronym or short name: JI
Tags: Courts, Disability: Mental Health, Disability: Physical, Pro Se/Self-Help, Research/Data

The Justice Index is the National Center for Access to Justice’s online resource in which data is presented that reveals the performance of state-based justice systems in assuring access to justice. The Justice Index website examines the presence, or absence, in state justice systems of best practices on: i) providing attorneys; ii) language access; iii) support for people with disabilities; and iv) self-represented.

The NCAJ created the Justice Index. The Justice Index is a project headed by NCAJ and supported by the Pfizer Legal Alliance, Skadden Arps, Kirkland & Ellis, UBS, Deloitte, and MSDS.

The purpose of the Justice Index is to increase public understanding of the importance of our justice system, and in so doing to encourage the adoption of best practices to increase access to justice in all parts of the country.

The Justice Index examines the presence, or absence, in state justice systems of best practices for: i) providing attorneys for people in poverty; ii) providing interpreting and translation for people with limited English proficiency; iii) providing support for people with disabilities; and iv) providing support for people proceeding without lawyers. The Justice Index’s key findings include:

  • Some states have fewer than one civil legal aid attorney per 10,000 people who are poor while there are 40 attorneys for every 10,000 people across the nation.
  • 24 percent of states do not have a rule authorizing court clerks to provide informational assistance to people who have no lawyers.
  • 45 percent of state judiciary web sites do not provide information in any language other than English.
  • 25 percent of the states don’t yet assure quality by using language interpreters that are “certified.”
  • 22 percent of states don’t prohibit judges from charging a deaf or hearing impaired person for the cost of a sign language interpreter.
  • 47 percent of states do not authorize judges to take steps to ensure that unrepresented individuals are fairly heard.

State Comparisons
The Justice Index provides two types of overall scores allowing comparisons of states to one another: i) a composite score shows the overall performance of each state in all categories of data combined; ii) a categorical score shows the overall performance of each state in each individual category.


This page last modified: Thu, April 16, 2015 -- 7:30 pm ET