Resources & Training

Fines and Fees:The Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) formed a National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices to address the ongoing impact that these legal financial obligations (LFOs) have on economically disadvantaged communities and to draft model statutes and court rules for setting, collecting, and waiving court-imposed payments.

Gender & Racial Fairness: This National Center for State Courts Resource Guide looks at how gender and racial bias can affect how parties are treated by the courts, and color the public's perception of the justice system. The collection includes court studies and programs to combat gender bias as well as research on jury system diversity.

Implicit bias: To raise awareness about the existence of implicit bias in the court community, the NCSC, with funding from the Open Society Institute, documented the development and implementation of pilot educational programs on the topic of implicit racial bias in three participating states. Program materials and lessons learned from this project may help to inform future educational and training efforts in improving fairness and cultural competence in the court community.

Language Access: The NCSC's Language Access Services Section provides state courts with resources to overcome language barriers and to ensure that providing individuals with limited English proficiency with access to the courts is a core function of the courts.

Public Trust and Confidence: Public trust is a precious commodity for the courts. While most people have at least a moderate amount of trust in the courts, it's unequally distributed, as minority members tend to express less confidence due to their assessment of fairness within court procedures. This NCSC Resource Guide provides information on surveys assessing the level of public trust and confidence in the courts, methodology and samples for conducting court-user surveys, and action plans developed from survey findings.

Sentencing disparities: This NCSC Resource Guide reviews issues related to sentencing, such as disparity (racial/ethnic, gender, age), judicial discretion, and the impact of sentencing policies on facilities and personnel resources, and includes information on sentencing commissions, guidelines, and reforms.

Trends in State Courts 2017: Increasing fines and fees, and sanctions for nonpayment, can have a particularly devastating effect on the lives of low-income offenders. This year's edition of Trends in State Courts examines how states are coping with the challenges and opportunities posed by fines, fees, and bail practices.