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News & Events

  • Share Your Thoughts with the Mayoral Transition Team

    Share Your Thoughts with the Mayoral Transition Team

    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

  • It's A New Day In DC

    It's A New Day In DC

    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.

  • Diane Rehm Show Features CCE Jury Project Members

    Diane Rehm Show Features CCE Jury Project Members

    The Diane Rehm Show recently featured an hour long segment on jury service, once again demonstrating the timely and important nature of CCE’s jury work. Indeed, three of the four guests on the show are members of CCE’s Jury Project Committee...

  • Welcome Amanda

    Welcome Amanda

    Please join us in welcoming CCE’s newest staff member, Amanda Townsend. Amanda is CCE’s Development Director and will be responsible for all fundraising efforts for the organization.

  • CCE Leads Presentation on Notario Fraud

    CCE Leads Presentation on Notario Fraud

    This is an article about CCE's presentation on Notario Fraud to Maryland Circuit Court Judges

  • Interview with James Berry

    Interview with James Berry

    Recently, CCE Board Director Ron Jessamy sat down with CSOSA Deputy Director & CCE Executive Member James Berry to discuss Mr. Berry's recent appointment and his history with CCE.

  • Update: Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense

    Update: Hiring DC Residents with a Criminal Record Makes Sense

    Over 120 people attended the “Hiring People with a Criminal Record” forum on Wednesday, September 17. Moderated by PNC Bank regional President Michael Harreld,Rthe event included remarks by D.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Harry Wingo and presentations by a number of businesses and experts in the areas of reentry and employment.

  • Welcome Tracy Velázquez

    Welcome Tracy Velázquez

    Please join us in welcoming Tracy Velázquez to the Council for Court Excellence staff. Tracy is our new Senior Policy Analyst overseeing CCE’s mission areas of Criminal Justice and Court Improvements.

  • Welcome Zach Zarnow

    Welcome Zach Zarnow

    Please join us in welcoming CCE’s newest staff member, Zach Zarnow. Zach is CCE’s Jury Analyst and will be responsible for leading the jury project as CCE undertakes a comprehensive review of jury service in the District of Columbia.

  • Goodbye to Pete Willner

    Goodbye to Pete Willner

    July 3, 2014 marked Pete Willner’s last day at CCE, after nearly 17 years. “CCE has been where I’ve spent most of my professional life and it’s been the perfect job for me,” Pete said. “Every day is different and every project has been challenging and rewarding. The projects attract and engage a wide variety of talented and committed people.”

  • School Jury Education Program Celebration

    School Jury Education Program Celebration

    On Monday, June 30th CCE Vice President Pat McGlone and Kevin Taylor hosted a celebration in honor of CCE's School Jury Education Program. For 20 years, CCE has visited DC high school classrooms to train tomorrow’s jurors about our jury system. The Council brings our video of a mock trial and asks the students to become the jury and try to reach a unanimous verdict in the case. CCE brings a judge with us to each class, to preside over the lesson, guide the students through the jury deliberation, and answer their questions about jury service – or anything else. The video lesson works equally well with adult groups in the community, and CCE has also used it successfully with students as young as middle school.

  • CCE Commemorates 60/50 and Discusses Educational Opportunity in DC

    CCE Commemorates 60/50 and Discusses Educational Opportunity in DC

    CCE Board of Directors and special guests gathered on June 5, 2014, to listen to a panel of experts share historical perspectives on the 60th and 50th anniversaries of Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They also heard panelists discuss what educational opportunity looks like today in the nation’s capital. DC Superior Court Magistrate Judge Diane Brenneman, Chair of the CCE School Discipline Project, introduced the program by drawing a connection to CCE’s current School Discipline Project which is assessing school discipline policies and practices in traditional and charter schools in the District from a justice systems perspective.

  • CCE Job Opportunity: Senior Policy Analyst

    CCE Job Opportunity: Senior Policy Analyst

    The Council for Court Excellence seeks a full-time Senior Policy Analyst. This professional will oversee two key areas of our programs: Criminal Justice and Court Efficiencies and Effectiveness. These areas include work related to: reentry, post-arrest processes, probate and administrative law, and jury service.

  • Celebrating the Life of Julian R. Dugas, a DC Trailblazer for Justice

    Celebrating the Life of Julian R. Dugas, a DC Trailblazer for Justice

    CCE mourns the loss of longtime CCE Board Director Julian Riley Dugas who recently passed away of congestive heart failure on April 12, 2014. Mr. Dugas was someone whose name carried great weight in the District of Columbia because of the myriad of extraordinary contributions that he made to the city with more than 60 years as a lawyer, humanitarian, teacher and civil servant.

  • CCE Briefs Latin American Delegation

    CCE Briefs Latin American Delegation

    Recently CCE participated in a roundtable discussion for a State Department-sponsored visiting delegation from Latin America touring the US to learn about the administration of justice. Executive Director, June Kress talked about the work of the Council for Court Excellence over the last 32 years, about our unique court and justice system structure in DC, and about how civil society can and should be engaged in improving the administration of justice.

  • CCE Awarded $56,000!

    CCE Awarded $56,000!

    CCE received the exciting news last Wednesday that CCE’s Jury Project, Changing Perceptions: Jury Service in the 21st Century, has been awarded a $56,000 grant from the City Fund, administered through the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Last November, over 300 applications were submitted to the City Fund with requests totaling more than $30 million. CCE joins 57 other organizations for the first round of grantmaking from the City Fund.

  • Remembering Ellen Eager, A CCE Pioneer

    Remembering Ellen Eager, A CCE Pioneer

    Ellen Watson Eager, who passed away after a long illness on March 16, was a “CCE Pioneer,” one of the first board members when the organization was formed in 1982. Founder Charles Horsky had drafted Ellen to serve on the Horsky Committee studying the newly-reorganized DC court system for the DC Bar. Once the report was published in the early 1980’s, Ellen was thoroughly committed to continuing to improve the administration of justice, lending her considerable insight and perspective as a “civic director.” In her more than 25 years of active board service, Ellen was a member of CCE’s Executive Committee, serving two multi-year terms, a perennial and active member of the Public Service Committee, a stalwart on the Jury Project that published its groundbreaking report in 1998, and a participant in several of CCE’s Court Observation Projects. For all of her many accomplishments, she received the Horsky Award in 2002.

  • CCE to Survey the DC Employer Community

    The Council for Court Excellence, as part of its DC Prisoner Reentry Initiative, is considering holding an educational forum for the DC employer community about recent and current developments in law and policy about hiring people with criminal records who represent ten percent of the District’s population.The survey will take less than 2 minutes to complete. We hope you’ll consider completing the survey or forwarding to the person in your firm or company that manages the hiring process for both professionals and administrative personnel:

  • CCE Led Training on the New Truancy Law and the Court

    CCE Led Training on the New Truancy Law and the Court

    On March 28th, the Council for Court Excellence organized and facilitated a half day training on “The DC Accountability Amendment Act of 2013”: What You Need to Know about Truancy and the Court. The Family Court Training Committee of DC Superior Court hosted the training in the court’s Jurors’ Lounge where more than 100 attendees participated including judges, case intake court personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and other interested stakeholders. Participants learned about the new truancy law and what is required by the schools before referring a truancy case to the Family Court Social Services Division (FCSSD) and the DC Office of the Attorney General.

  • Interview with CCE Executive Committee Member, Tyrone Parker

    Interview with CCE Executive Committee Member, Tyrone Parker

    Theodore Whitehouse, CCE Board Director, Reentry Project Committee Chair, and partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher recently sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Tyrone Parker, CCE Executive Committee member, a member of CCE’s Reentry and School Discipline project committees, and Executive Director of the Alliance of Concerned Men.

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