A strategic plan describes the purpose, or mission, of an organization, the major challenges it faces and the goals and strategies it will use to meet those challenges. Organizations develop strategic plans so that everyone, from the Chief Executive Officer to “front line” employees, will know what is important to the organization and what it is trying to accomplish. Some strategic plans also include a “vision” for the organization, which is a statement of a desired future that all employees can work to achieve together.
The D.C. Courts develop a new Strategic Plan every five years to set priorities and provide direction for the future. The Courts’ governing body, the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, approves the Plan after it is developed with broad input from persons and organizations who conduct business or work in the Courts. Approximately 4,000 individuals and groups helped create the Courts’ most recent Plan by participating in surveys and focus groups.
Strategic Plan 2013-2017
Entitled Open to All, Trusted by All, Justice for All, Strategic Plan of the District of Columbia Courts, 2013-2017, the Courts' Strategic Plan lays out the Courts’ vision and mission, as well as goals and values.
The full Strategic Plan can be viewed at: Strategic Plan 2013-2017. You may also pick up a copy from the Executive Office, in Room 6680.
Open to All, Trusted by All, Justice for All
To protect rights and liberties, uphold and interpret the law, and resolve disputes peacefully, fairly and effectively in the District of Columbia.
The Plan identifies 5 priority areas, called goals, to be addressed. The goals are:
1. Fair and Timely Case Resolution
2. Access to Justice
3. A Strong Judiciary and Workforce
4. A Sound Infrastructure
5. Public Trust and Confidence
Within each goal, the Plan identifies objectives to be accomplished and strategies to accomplish them. For example, Objective 2A under Access to Justice is: the D.C. Courts will ensure access to court services for all persons. One of the strategies to accomplish this goal is to increase the establishment of community-based service centers and provide additional after-hours services.
One element of the 2013-2017 Strategic Plan is an updated statement of Court Values. Whereas the Vision statement describes the Courts’ preferred future and the Mission statement describes our purpose, the Values describe how we achieve our purpose – the means and methods of accomplishing the Courts’ work.
The DC Courts’ Strategic Plan contains A Strong Judiciary and Workforce goal. The selection of Values to support the objectives under this, as well as all of the Plan’s objectives, was critical. An organization can produce a great product or service, but if it uses unethical or illegal means to do so, or treats its people poorly, or employs other practices which reflect questionable values, it will eventually be subject to criticism, scrutiny or failure.
Values are essential to creating a workplace culture and, as a Court, justice depends on integrity, respect, and fairness for those who appear before the Court, as well as excellence, accountability, and transparency of our processes consistent with the law.
Previous Strategic Plans
Delivering Justice: Strategic Plan of the District of Columbia Courts 2008-2012