The Council for Court Excellence works to improve the administration of justice in the local and federal courts and related agencies in the Washington metropolitan area. Formed in Washington, DC in January 1982, the Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization.
At CCE's December Board Meeting last week, attendees were treated to a conversation with Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, moderated by Brigida Benitez, President of the DC Bar.
For the third consecutive election cycle, the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) will be a part of the District of Columbia's mayoral transition team. "We are glad that Mayor-Elect Bowser and her team reached out to us," said Kress, who will be serving on the public safety transition committee's subcommittee on corrections. "CCE and its staff have been working on issues related to public safety and corrections, and especially jail and prison reentry, for many years. We are excited to both offer our own expertise, as well as reach out to community members and organizations to get their ideas on changes and improvements that the mayor-elect can make in 2015 and beyond." The transition team has organized a public meeting for the public safety committee to gather input from interested individuals and entities. The hearing will be December 2, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at One Judiciary Square (old council chambers), and in addition to corrections will include testimony on police, fire, disaster preparedness, youth violence prevention, and domestic violence. CCE encourages people to present oral testimony on the 2nd or submit written testimony by December 15th toHelder Gil, the public safety transition team coordinator, at Helder.Gil@wearewashingtondc.org.
Last week, DC saw the election of a new mayor, three new council members, and for the first time, an attorney general. These transitions in elected leadership will mean both change and opportunity in all areas, not the least of which is continuing to improve justice for DC residents. For over three decades, the Council for Court Excellence has worked successfully with the DC mayor and council to address critical issues in both civil and criminal justice. We do this through our extensive network of board and committee members, who are able to convene stakeholders and develop policy recommendations that then are translated into law. Here are just a few examples of legislation that CCE was involved in that were passed under different mayoral administrations. Of course, these don’t reflect the many studies and reports we’ve done that have changed non-legislative policies and practices.