PMC was excited to partner with both the Philadelphia Bar Association and The League of Women Voters for separate Decision 2017 Judicial Candidate Forums. Video from Primary Election forums are below. Stay tuned for additional General Election forums, coming soon.
The soon-to-be-launched PMC in the Community™ is a multi-faceted three-year pilot project being developed to guide individuals confronted by the often intimidating, unfamiliar rules and processes of the court system.
PMC in the Community is intended create new points of entry for citizens to learn about the judicial system on their time and in areas of their interest. The three distinct programs described below will move our educational efforts well beyond our current database of resources for public use on our website.
PMC Shares™ Community Outreach is one such program under development. PMC Shares will send ambassadors directly into targeted neighborhoods with a high percentage of court users to present educational sessions on the justice system at community centers, libraries and recreation centers.
Our first program was held at Mercy Community Center in North Philadelphia to a group of 25 people who were hungry to learn more about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the impact its decisions have on their lives. By listening intently and gathering feedback, PMC will learn what the public is finding most difficult about navigating the judicial system and be better positioned to identify accurately people’s needs and concerns.
Analysis of the information will be shared with the community to create a feedback loop and provide direction for PMC’s work to implement appropriate reforms.
This feedback loop must also extend to include wide availability, and opportunities to bring specialized expertise to communities when needed. That is why we are also developing the PMC Listens™ and PMC Watches™ programs to round out PMC Shares programming.
PMC Listens™ PMC Listens™ Helpline is a dedicated 800 number voice mail box, where callers can request information about court processes and procedures as well as report any barriers they may feel are impeding their participation. A guaranteed response will be delivered within 24 hours, providing personalized assistance by a team of volunteer law students, lawyers, and other interested community members.
PMC Watches™ Citizen Court Monitoring program is a community-oriented expansion of PMC’s traditional “court watchdog” role. Through the commission of retired lawyers, law professors, law students and journalism volunteers, PMC will enlist a team of Citizen Court Monitors to observe, record and offer recommendations on court proceedings.
While we are excited to soon welcome new staff to continue building out and begin management of PMC Shares, the collective need to push forward on civic education will remain. That is why we will continue to wholeheartedly welcome support from the wide-range of professionals who have done so in the past, and encourage them to share with their networks in the future. As PMC looks to the next 30 years, it will take all of us to build a more just, more engaged citizenry and stronger judiciary.
To get involved in any of PMC in the Community programs or to learn more, contact us.
Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring that all Pennsylvanians can come to our courts with confidence that they will be heard by qualified, fair, and impartial judges