Last month, I found myself sharing a taxi from the Vermont Airport to the Burlington Hilton late Saturday night with another newly minted judicial educator, Meg Rowe. Meg and I were chatting in the back seat – we’d just met — when the taxi driver asked us what “judicial education” was. Even as newbies, we’d answered that question a few times already and offered him practiced explanations. When we were finished, he said, “Do you work on those new drug courts? Because the one here saved my life.” And he told us a bit about himself, offering us a story and a life that connected the NASJE Conference and our new profession to something more real than practiced explanations about judicial education. Our cab ride unexpectedly reminded us of the human value of the work we do.
This compelling blended learning event at the 2016 NAJSE annual conference combined experiential learning and more traditional learning. Session participants watched the heart-wrenching, award-winning documentary God Knows Where I Am, participated in a discussion about the film with colleague Joan Bishop, and listened to a presentation by Judge Steve Leifman about his judicial experiences and interactions with the mental health system and the mentally ill appearing before him.
Judicial Education in Texas works differently than in many other states. Instead of judicial education being a function of the Office of Court Administration as it is elsewhere, judicial education is provided through multiple entities each providing training for a different segment of the judiciary. This judicial education is financed by a grant from the Court of Criminal Appeals out of funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund. In Texas, judicial education is administered by the Court of Criminal Appeals, through grants from the Court to Judicial Education entities, such as the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center.
It is difficult to discuss prison conditions with just about anyone. Some are convinced that crime deserves prison, the more time the better. Others are appalled by statistics that reveal the huge number of prisoners in America. Politicians talk about being tough on crime, parents talk about spending more on education instead of on prisons. Private prisons seem to be having a heyday. Recently, much has been made of the number of minorities in American prisons, and the long sentences they serve compared to Whites. As court personnel, exposed daily to crimes against society, it is easy to become jaded about prison and prisoners.
When I began working at the Federal Judicial center ten years ago, I first heard of a learning conference concept called “open space.” You may have heard of it or even used it. It seemed so odd to me! Basically, learners come together with a predetermined, overarching topic for a specific amount of time with no specific agenda topics predefined at all. Some people call this an “unconference” or “open conference.”
Created in 2012, the Missouri Court Management Institute brings together judges, clerks, administrators, and juvenile officers six times a year to explore the purposes and responsibilities of courts, measurement of court performance, case flow management, and managing technology projects, judicial finances, and human resources.
How do courts deal with issues such as the disproportion of minority representation in the criminal and juvenile justice systems? How can court employees and judges act to overcome the perception that the criminal justice system is biased towards minority populations, as shown in research at ProceduralFairness.org and elsewhere? Pima County courts chose to tackle implicit bias training as one facet of their efforts to combat these and related issues in courts in Tucson, Arizona.
In 2004, judicial education became mandatory for Nebraska judges, probation, and Court staff. Carole McMahon-Boies set out to build the education program on a budget.
In his high-energy closing plenary session at NASJE’s 2015 annual conference, Dr. John Medina did a terrific job of informing and involving attendees. He vividly demonstrated how to apply research on learning and memory to judicial branch education. The “brain rules” he shared are worth revisiting, so this article will touch back on them and direct you where to go for more.
By Philip J. Schopick, CCM | Program Manager, Judicial College | Supreme Court of Ohio Fewer things are more satisfying than seeing teaching done right. The faculty development program taught at NASJE’s 39th annual conference in Seattle truly fit the…
The NASJE Communications Committee will endeavor to periodically feature a spotlight on a NASJE member who has demonstrated tremendous efforts while “Navigating Judicial Education in Great Change.” The Committee members have voted to highlight NASJE member Diane Cowdrey (CA) who led the restructuring of the Center for Judiciary Education and Research (CJER) during the meltdown of the economy and the fiscal crisis for California’s judicial branch beginning in early 2008. Diane is the Director of CJER, in the Operations and Programs Division, Judicial Council of California.
We are excited to announce the completion of NASJE’s newest curriculum design! The history of this effort began when NASJE undertook, with support from State Justice Institute (SJI), the task of developing a comprehensive set of curriculum designs to advance the profession of judicial branch education based on core competency areas.
According to The Nation’s Report Card, the official site for results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, high school seniors are falling behind in their understanding of government and civics, scoring less than 50% on national tests. And unless you pursue a career in law, government, or politics, it doesn’t get any better after high school.