The Judicial Division Task Force on Perceptions of Justice, co-chaired by Judge Cheryl D. Cesario, Judge Delissa A. Ridgway and Phyllis B. Pickett, was formed in 2013 as an offshoot of the Lawyers Conference Perception of Justice (POJ) project. The project began in 2008 under the leadership of Judge Michael B. Hyman of Chicago. Over the next three years, the Lawyers Conference held six programs around the nation that provided an open forum for dialogue between judges and members of local communities about perceptions of, and personal experiences, with the justice system. A modified “town hall” format with small group discussions was used for some programs and expert panels with audience participation were employed in others.
In July 2011, the Lawyers Conference published a Perceptions of Justice Report that provides an overview of each program and highlights some of the themes that emerged. The next phase the POJ project has included further review and analysis of the themes and lessons learned, and the production of specific strategies for addressing identified concerns. A panel discussion during the 2012 ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana began this process.
In the JD Record 2013 Summer Issue, the Lawyers Conference published Perceptions of Justice Toolkit: A How-to Guide for Planning a Local Event to Discuss Perceptions of Justice in Your Community, to assist bar associations, community groups, and other entities interested in conducting their own POJ town hall meetings. These tools were released in conjunction with the POJ March 2013 seminar in Chicago, under the leadership of Judge William D. Missouri.
The 2013 POJ Summit brought together representatives of the many discreet bar associations to address issues surrounding the perceptions of justice and acted as a wrap-up to the town hall meeting format for the Judicial Division, thus moving the effort forward toward bringing judges, courts, lawyers, and academia, and community groups together on a national scale to advance citizen understanding and support for the justice system on the one hand and better administration of justice for all on the other.
The Perceptions of Justice Committee is no longer active. Please use this page as a resource for materials related to perceptions of justice. If you have questions, please contact Judicial Division Director Tori Jo Wible.