MA Access to Justice Commission Update – April 18, 2018

Highlights from March 22nd Meeting of the ATJ Commission

Thank you to the Commissioners and guests who joined us for the most recent meeting of the MA ATJ Commission on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at the Adams Courthouse. Highlights and key takeaways from the meeting included:

  • Legal Services Corporation Funding Update: the recent $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and signed by the White House included $410 million for LSC, most of which will go to field grants
  • Trial Court Cell Phone Policy presentation: Representatives from the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law provided an overview of the cell phone restrictions currently in place in 56 courthouses across the state. Commissioners, guests, and courthouse staff discussed the legal and safety implications of such policies, and compared Massachusetts’ with other state policies.
  • Administrative Justice Committee Presentation and Discussion: The committee is preparing to release a report in June 2018 examining how state agencies work with low-income people in the Commonwealth, and vice-versa. Focus areas include: language access, technology, interagency collaboration and integration of programs.
  • Justice For All Implementation: Both JFA pilot project proposals put forth by the ATJ Commission – housing and consumer debt – have received a favorable read by the Public Welfare Foundation.  We are preparing more detailed budgets for the review committee, and will update the Commission when we know more.

 

The next ATJ Commission meeting will take place on May 17, 2018 from 3-5pm. Agenda topics forthcoming. We hope to see you there!