This is an important step in ensuring that strategic planning is informed by underlying indicia of need.
The Self-Represented Litigation Network has just launched a national, but highly granulated online tool for looking at national county by county level statistics for fourteen critical driving factors in understanding need and developing the strategies for meeting them.
Those factors are:
- Population density
- Young Adults
- Adults (30-44)
- Midlife Adults (45-99)
- Seniors (60 +)
- High school graduates
- Vehicle access
- Active Duty Military
- Racial Diversity
- Foreign Born
- Language Other Than English Spoken at Home
- Where Is Mobile Broadband Available?
- How Fast Is Mobile Broadband?
- Where Are Homes Connected to High-Speed Internet?
How might this be used?
Think for example, of the rental data. The extent of rentals is obviously likely to predict the number of evictions and thus of the need for access to justice services. Here is the national map:
A huge variation. Lets zoom in on a state.
Now one county.
At the next level, rental units alone are not the only driver of this need. Poverty, age, etc., are obviously such predictors. If those together suggest more evictions than are actually occurring in the court systems, then that probably means that more of them are occurring as “informal evictions.”
Moreover, evictions are not the only ATJ need that will be impacted by rental levels. Rentals are usually associated with frequent moves. That means need for assistance in obtaining the right to education. More rentals surely mean more need for emergency shelter. The list and interplays go on for ever.
This is a fine start, and I very much hope that as states move forward on planning for strategic planning, they will make full use of this amazing resource.