6:00 p.m. Welcome
Review Minutes of October 12, 2000 Meeting(yellow)
Review Proposed Strategic Plan - Judicial Education(gray)
Review Education Results: Municipal Judges Seminar(white)
Municipal Judges: Failure to Attend Annual Program(ivory)
Proposed Strategic Plan for Judicial Education
On behalf of the Continuing Judicial Education Commission, we are pleased to present the long-range strategic plan for the North Dakota Supreme Court Judicial Department Education Program. Designed as a comprehensive vision for the future of Judicial Department education, this plan was initially drafted by the various education committees following discussions affecting the state courts in North Dakota. The draft plan was then refined into this final version.
The plan identifies the significant issues facing North Dakota's court system and establishes primary goals and strategies for addressing those issues. The long-range issue areas addressed in the plan include:
*Ensuring Equal Access to Justice
*Enhancing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Court and Case Management
*Ensuring Public Confidence in and Accountability of the Judicial Department
*Enhancing the Competency and Professionalism of Judicial Department Personnel.
This plan is a living document that will be reviewed and revised by the Commission, with input from its education committees, on a regular basis. We look forward to working with the North Dakota Supreme Court and Judicial Department personnel statewide in continuing to refine and improve the plan to ensure the effective and efficient administration of justice for the people of North Dakota.
Hon. Donald Jorgensen, Chair
Continuing Judicial Education Commission
LONG-RANGE ISSUES AND GOALS
Long-Range Issue 1: Enhancing the Competency and Professionalism of Judicial Department Personnel
Issue Description: The primary asset of the justice system is its people. Judicial Department personnel in North Dakota's courts are dedicated public servants who provide a high level of public service to the people of North Dakota. The people who work in the courts face an ever-changing environment that is challenging the way justice services have historically been provided. Judicial Department personnel deserve to be treated as professionals and must be provided the opportunity to continue to learn and to develop their skills. To meet the changing needs of the people they serve, Judicial Department personnel need education programs that equip them to adapt to change, to regularly update substantive knowledge, and to develop management skills needed to improve court operations. Comprehensive education, training, and professional development programs will assist Judicial Department personnel to provide the highest quality of justice services to the public.
Goal 1.1 A comprehensive curriculum guides the development of educational programs for Judicial Department personnel.
Strategies: 1.1.1 Identify the full range of education and training needs of Judicial Department personnel.
1.1.2 Identify the core competency areas to be included in a comprehensive basic Judicial Department education curriculum, including, but not limited to, personal development, ethics, fairness and diversity, case law and legislative updates, ADR and procedures. It also includes other coordinated programs that emphasize access to the courts and the improvement of court services.
1.1.3 Implement mandatory education for all Judicial Department personnel.
1.1.4 Develop instructional and participant materials that enhance the learners' abilities to do the day-to-day work of the courts in each core competency arena of the curriculum.
1.1.5 Develop specialized training programs as needed to address changing education needs.
1.1.6 Develop programs that provide court personnel with a broad overview of the purpose and operation of the court system.
1.1.7 Develop mentor and job shadowing programs for new judges and employees.
Goal 1.2 The Judicial Department maximizes the use of its education resources by using coordinated and integrated education programs that provide cross-training opportunities.
Strategies: 1.2.1 Identify education topics which would be appropriate for cross-training opportunities.
1.2.2 Develop Judicial Department personnel faculty teams that reflect the levels of all staff who would attend the cross-training programs.
1.2.3 Coordinate the providing of educational programs with court and law-related professional associations to maximize the use of resources.
Goal 1.3 Professional development of court personnel including clerks, juvenile officers, secretaries, court reporters, calendar control clerks and other court staff.
Strategies: 1.3.1 Identify and adopt basic levels of skills and proficiencies needed for court staff at all levels of operation.
1.3.2 Encourage regular district meetings with judges, clerks, court administrators and juvenile court personnel to discuss policies, procedures and administrative issues related to court operations.
1.3.3 Broaden the knowledge base of Judicial Department personnel through attendance at out-of-state education programs.
Goal 1.4 Civility and professionalism are standard behavior for all Judicial Department personnel.
Strategies: 1.4.1 Address civility and professionalism in Judicial Department programs on a regular basis.
Goal 1.5 Alternative techniques for delivery of educational services are widely used to reach the broadest possible audience for Judicial Department education programs.
Strategies: 1.5.1 Increase the use of remote site technology for educational programs including live audio/video transmission through video conferencing and other available technologies.
1.5.2 Increase the use of video and audio tape library, CD-ROM development, and Internet publishing for wide dissemination of Judicial Department education program materials.
1.5.3 Develop "train-the-trainer" programs to increase delivery of educational programs in the courts.
1.5.4 Enhance presentation and teaching skills of Judicial Department personnel who serve as faculty for education programs.
1.5.5 Regularly update benchbooks, procedures manuals and other educational publications.
Long-Range Issue 2: Ensuring Equal Access to Equal Justice
Issue Description: One of the paramount obligations of an independent judiciary is to provide equal justice to all by ensuring equal access to justice services. Access to justice not only means physical access to courthouses and courtrooms, but also means ensuring that court users understand and effectively participate in court proceedings. The courts are experiencing significant changes in the demographics of the people they serve, including the aging of the population, single parent families, differences in socio-economic levels, and increasingly diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This diversity also challenges the courts to ensure fairness in treatment of all persons who come before the courts. By assuring fair and accessible justice to all, the courts maintain the rule of law during time of great change.
Goal 2.1 All persons are treated fairly in the courts regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, economic status, religion, disability, education level, sexual orientation, or age.
Strategies 2.1.1 Identify and eliminate bias or perceived bias.
2.1.2. Develop and incorporate fairness and sensitivity training into Judicial Department courses on a regular basis.
Goal 2.2 The needs of unrepresented persons who seek justice services are met by the court.
Strategies: 2.1.3 Develop training program to help court staff to provide assistance to pro se litigants.
Goal 2.3. Persons with physical or mental impairment are provided reasonable accommodations to achieve access to courthouses, courtrooms, and all court services.
Strategies: 2.3.1 Identify ADA requirements and develop a training program regarding physical access to courthouses, courtrooms and other court-related program facilities.
Long-Range Issue 3: Enhancing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Court and Case Management
Issue Description: With increasing demands for finite court system resources, the courts are continually challenged to find ways to effectively provide efficient justice services to the public. Technology offers some possible options for increasing efficiency, but efficiency alone is not enough. The foundation of the court system rests on the notion of fairness and justice in resolving disputes. To provide fair and just dispute resolution services, the courts must make the most efficient use of resources while ensuring that justice continues to be served for all who come before the courts.
Goal 3.1 Technology is integrated into court operations and enhances the delivery of court services.
Strategies: 3.1.1 Educate Judicial Department personnel regarding the use of technology to deliver court services as appropriate.
3.1.2 Provide resources to permit all Judicial Department personnel to use contemporary technology effectively.
Goal 3.2 The courts provide comprehensive and coordinated justice services to families and children.
Strategies: 3.2.1 Provide educational programs regarding effective and efficient administration and operation of courts serving families and children.
3.2.2 Increase coordinated educational programming in children's law in cooperation with other agencies and resource providers.
3.2.3 Enhance educational opportunities regarding the best practices for handling family cases, including, but not limited to, family violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, learning disabilities, child development, abuse, neglect and delinquency.
Goal 3.3 Juvenile courts have a full range of placement options for juvenile offenders.
Strategies: 3.3.1 Increase awareness of existing facilities for placement or detention of juvenile offenders.
3.3.2 Increase awareness of alternatives to placement and detention of juvenile offenders.
Goal 3.4 All court facilities are protected by adequate court security personnel and procedures.
Strategies: 3.4.1 Conduct security training for court personnel on a routine basis.
Long-Range Issue 4: Ensuring Public Confidence in and Accountability of the Judiciary
Issue Description: The Judiciary is a separate and co-equal branch of government. To fulfill its constitutional mandate, the justice system depends upon the trust and confidence placed in it by the people and the resources made available to it by the other branches of government. The trust of the people is earned in two ways: 1) through positive personal experiences with the courts, and 2) through education about the role and purpose of the courts learned in school and from the media. Effectively reporting the courts' work and advocating for court needs establishes a strong working relationship between the Judiciary and the other branches of government. As a separate branch, the Judiciary must establish its public accountability for the effective use of court resources, and by doing so will build public support for the justice system.
Goal 4.1 Effective and efficient customer service is considered the highest priority for court personnel.
Strategies: 4.1.1. Develop a comprehensive customer service training program that emphasizes civility and professionalism for all Judicial Department personnel.
4.1.2. Encourage the use of customer service surveys and other feedback mechanisms by local courts in assessing their own performance.
Goal 4.2 The purpose and role of the courts is effectively communicated to the public and other branches of government.
Strategies: 4.2.1 Encourage court involvement in public educational programs and community outreach activities to promote public understanding of the role and operations of the court system.
4.2.2 Encourage the organization and development of a speakers bureau.
4.2.3 Educate judges and Judicial Department personnel on ways to develop a positive and ongoing relationship with the media to ensure that the justice system issues are fairly and widely covered.
Goal 4.3 Judicial Department personnel are kept informed regularly about the implications of future trends that will affect court operations.
Strategies: 4.3.1 Establish strategic planning as a basic method of operation for the Education Commission and education committees.
4.3.2 Inform Judicial Department personnel of trends and their implications as part of in-depth education on priority issues.
4.3.3. Schedule joint education and strategic planning sessions to increase the degree of participation in the planning of statewide education.
Goal 4.4 The Judicial Department seeks and obtains adequate resources to support the operations of the courts and exercises independent authority for managing personnel and resources.
Strategies: 4.4.1 Enhance Judicial Department budget development, management and advocacy skills to ensure effective budget requests are prepared.
4.4.2 Offer comprehensive court management educational programs that integrate all levels of court personnel in team skills development including budgeting and accounting practices, human resource management, records management, time management, priority setting, and technology planning and implementation, case and workflow management, jury management, courtroom management, settlement, and leadership.
4.4.3 Educate Judicial Department about techniques for collaboration with local resource providers and others to increase resources available to augment local court operations.