2017-2018 Annual Report

July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018: The Year in Review

Studies have consistently found that when people have an understanding of the US justice system and the role of the courts within it, their confidence in and support for the courts are strengthened.  Through its development of educational materials and programs, outreach initiatives, publications, enhanced web content, videos, mobile apps, social media networks, and other communication strategies, Florida’s judicial branch has been working to create an array of opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the functions, processes, and accomplishments of their courts.  The Florida State Courts Annual Report is one of the many resources the branch produces to share this kind of information with the public.

This section of the annual report is organized around the five long-range issues identified in the Long-Range Strategic Plan for the Florida Judicial Branch: 2016 – 2021.  Long-range issues are defined as the high-priority areas that the branch, in seeking to fulfill its mission and to aspire toward its vision, must address over the long term.  The five long-range issues are as follows:

  • Deliver justice effectively, efficiently, and fairly;
  • Enhance access to justice and court services;
  • Improve understanding of the judicial process;
  • Modernize the administration of justice and operation of court facilities;
  • Maintain a professional, ethical, and skilled judiciary and workforce.

With the long-range issues as its framework, the annual report aims “to increase public awareness about court programs, services, and performance” and “to educate the public about the purposes, roles, responsibilities, and decisions of the judicial branch by improving outreach efforts” (Goals 1.2 and 1.5 of Delivering Our Message: Court Communication Plan for the Judicial Branch of Florida).  In providing readers with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the third branch of government, this plan endeavors to foster people’s trust and confidence in their courts.