Idea: Jointly-Sponsored Justice System Efficiency and Accessability Awards

Here is an idea:  We should establish jointly sponsored awards for innovations that increase both efficiency and accessibility in the justice system.

To win an award, you would have to demonstrate that a) the innovation saves money, and b) that is increases access.

We could have two kinds of awards, one for an idea not yet deployed, and one for ideas already deployed and meeting the awards goals.

Innovations in courts, the bar, and legal aid, would be eligible — maybe national groups in these three areas might co-sponsor the awards.  The three kinds of organization getting behind an innovation would send a powerful message, and would encourage cooperation at the national, state and local level in facilitating adoption.

I would hope that such awards would encourage people to look at cost savings and access improvements together — and frankly, innovations that produce both are the only kind that are going to get broadly deployed in the current environment.

After a period of time, a list of such award winning innovations, that met the criteria, might become Best Practices that would be more formally encouraged by funders.

Of course there are already lots of awards in the justice system, but none of the them are focused on the broad integrated goals of accessibility and efficiency, or have have kind of co-sponsorship suggested here.  Moreover, most are made to individuals rather than ideas or innovations.  Compare the more general National Association for Court Management Justice System Awards (innovations), the many highly focused ABA awards, the more legal aid/public defender oriented NLADA Awards, and the more general NCSC-administered Rehnquist Awards, all mainly for individuals or organizations.

Readers are invited to suggest how a system of such awards might work — and even particular innovations that might quality for an award.   And, please spread this idea around to those who might be supportive.

About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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1 Response to Idea: Jointly-Sponsored Justice System Efficiency and Accessability Awards

  1. richardzorza says:

    On the subject of awards, I have just been sent the link to the Maryland Access to Justice Commission Awards. A great idea, and sure to have a major impact. Note the range of awards for different kinds of people, including legislators, judges, programs, and judicial staff.

    Contact: Executive Director, Pameala Ortiz,

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