The Riverside Superior Court promotes its community outreach efforts under the auspices of the Court-Community Planning Committee. The committee is dedicated to increasing public trust and confidence in the judicial system by:
- Facilitating effective communication between the court and the community;
Assisting the court in the development and implementation of programs that are responsive to the needs and concerns of the community; and
Ensuring the fair and equal administration of justice to all.
The Court-Community Planning Committee consists of judges, bar leaders, educators, and community representatives. The committee oversees and sponsors programs intended to educate the public about the court, and to educate the court as to how it can better serve the public. This committee also oversees the court's involvement in the high school mock trial program and in the court tour program. The committee sponsors other programs, including "Teach the Teachers," a program that permits high school government teachers to come to the courts for a day of in-service education. The Court-Community Planning Committee recognizes that Riverside County includes many diverse communities and cultures, and wishes to ensure equal and easy access to the courts for all persons.
History of the Court-Community Planning Committee
In 1997, in order to promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system, the Judicial Council of California launched a long-range project called Court Planning and Community Outreach in California. As one element of this project, the council sponsored the State Community-Focused Court Planning Conference in May of 1998. This conference, along with the work of the Special Task Force on Court-Community Outreach appointed by Chief Justice Ronald George, sought to institutionalize community-focused orientation through locally developed court outreach activities. The conference was a historic gathering for the judicial system in California, representing the first time that courts gathered with members of the public, local government and local bar leaders on a statewide level to address the many challenges faced in the fair and effective administration of justice. Two important principles formed the foundation for the conference. First, to be effective, courts must increase public trust and understanding by emphasizing community outreach and education about the court system. Second, the courts need to engage in effective planning so that they can be responsive to the communities they serve and ensure equal access to justice. With this in mind, the Riverside Superior Court formed the Court-Community Planning Committee to explore new and vital ways of improving the administration of justice through community collaboration and greater community involvement. The committee meets on a regular basis to facilitate effective communication between the court and the community and assist in the development and implementation of programs that are responsive to the needs and concerns of the community.