Just as there is a strong federal interest in state and local law enforcement, corrections, prosecution, and defense, there is a federal interest in supporting the state courts – who are a major component of the justice system and handle over 98 percent of all litigation filed in the United States. The state courts ensure the public experiences justice under the Constitution. With more than 30,000 judges and 20,000 courthouses nationwide, the state courts serve as the backbone of the justice system, upholding laws enacted at both the federal and state levels, and implementing many federal mandates.
To support the increasing and evolving needs of the state courts, it is imperative that SJI has the resources to meet the demands for grant funding. SJI-funded projects are critical to the state courts, and the methods and innovations developed from these projects can be replicated on a state and national level; thereby increasing the impact of every grant dollar. SJI grants have assisted the state courts in reengineering to improve efficiency and effectiveness; addressed the impact of immigration in the state courts; improved court security; promoted fiscally-sound and data-driven policies and practices on sentencing; and provided assistance to improve access to justice.
SJI is supervised by a Board of Directors consisting of 11 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 10703, the President appoints 6 state court judges and 1 state court administrator from a list of candidates submitted to the President by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), and 4 public members, of which no more than 2 can be from the same political party.
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