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Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) serves to improve confidence in Pennsylvania’s judiciary system. The organization, which was founded by Governor Robert Casey, is comprised of a panel of civic leaders, public officials, legal professionals, and members of the judiciary. Through their work engaging and educating communities on court procedures, jury education, and equal access to justice, PMC acts as a herald for judicial ethics. They also advocate for a number of judicial reforms – including merit-based selection of appellate judges and jurists.

First Nonprofit’s Contribution

First Nonprofit Foundation awarded $8,171 to Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts for office technology upgrades.

Goal of the Grant

PMC first saw the need to upgrade their office technology when the systems they had in place began to get in the way of their day-to-day operations. By implementing new software and equipment, interruptions have reduced significantly—improving the overall efficiency of the organization.

Because communication is so important to the success of PMC’s mission, the seamless dissemination made possible by the system upgrade will go a long way toward helping the organization reach their goals. Additionally, the new printers that were purchased with the grant money have improved the quality of PMC’s printed materials.

When it comes to improving operations—both internally and externally—updating technology can go a long way. PMC has already seen the positive impact that their upgrades have made on their communications channels, internal efficiency, and quality of printed materials.


$8,171

Awarded

What was the problem the project solved?

As an information hub for the public, the press, and policymakers, we rely on the ability quickly to disseminate unbiased information about the judiciary. The outdated technology we were using before we received this grant impeded that ability. Since migrating our files to the new software and setting up our new equipment, we are able to disseminate and access critical information quickly from any location. This, in turn, has allowed us to better serve the people of Pennsylvania in our fight for fair, accessible courts.

Who does the project help?

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts exists to serve the people of Pennsylvania by identifying, speaking out on, and providing information about issues related to the judiciary. Therefore, this project helped the people of Pennsylvania, by providing PMC with the equipment and services necessary to carry out its mission. Over the past year, this upgrade has helped PMC continue to strive for merit selection of appellate judges, defend judicial independence, familiarize communities with court processes and procedures, and foster better communication between legal and journalism professionals.

What makes your solution unique?

Our solution is unique because PMC’s work is unique. At many organizations, an equipment and file-sharing system upgrade would simply improve internal communication and efficiency, with little impact on the outside world. However, because PMC is the only nonpartisan court reform organization in the state, journalists and the public rely on us for unbiased information about the judiciary – and our obsolete technology often impeded our ability to provide that information. Not only has our new equipment and file-sharing system improved our internal communication, but it has also improved our ability to provide critical, unbiased information to the public that depends on us.

How did the project make a difference?

Should we need to access information immediately, when we are not in the office, we are now able to do so. The new system has also made it possible for us to more effectively work from home. Therefore, PMC’s work can continue seamlessly, regardless of weather conditions and other emergencies.

Before acquiring our new equipment, we were regularly forced to call our IT Consultant to troubleshoot computer and printer problems. Now that we experience far fewer technology-related interruptions, we can spend more time focusing on our work for fair, impartial, and accessible courts in Pennsylvania.