J U S T I C E V I S I O N
"ALTERNATIVE PATHS TO JUSTICE"
"... A VISION OF THE SYSTEM OF JUSTICE IN THE YEAR 2020 THAT ..."
Futures Commission Mission Statement
The One-Minute Self Manager
Vision Statement Review
Justice System Headlines
Enrolling Others in the Alternative Paths to Justice Vision
From Here to There: Necessary Precursor Events
What We Can Do Now
The Pennsylvania Futures Commission on Justice in the 21st Century encourages a "look over the rim," 25 years into the future. The objective is to help the justice system prepare for a future filled with expected, but undefinable change so as to provide effective, fair and responsive justice to all Pennsylvanians.
The group's purpose is to engage a diverse group of stakeholders to create a vision of the system of justice in the year 2020 that:
redefines the goals and purposes of the justice system
articulates a fresh view of crime and punishment
identifies a short list of recommendations for action to start immediately
insures public participation in the realization of the vision
identifies ways to take advantage of technology in service of the justice system
sets forth a time table and structure to achieve the vision.
Purpose of the Meeting:
To develop plans for implementation of the Vision Statement for Alternative Paths to Justice in Pennsylvania in the year 2020.
A vision statement is critical as a rallying point for developing strategies for change. All of the task forces of the Futures Commission (Civil Justice, Access to Justice, Criminal Justice, Families and Children, and Technology) are concerned with alternate ways of approaching the business of justice, and our preliminary vision statement has drawn from those groups as well.
In Futures Studies, no vision statement of the future we would like remains static-- because the "future" keeps changing as unexpected events and developments affect our world. Therefore, we do expect our vision statement to continue the process of refinement and modification. However, if we wait for a definite view of the future, we will always be waiting!
We must start to develop strategies for helping move Pennsylvania closer to our vision.
This meeting will first look more closely at the vision statement for Alternative Paths to Justice. Then we will begin to work backwards to see what we must do today to start us on the path to tomorrow.
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All are on a first-name basis.
Value other people's opinions.
Everyone will pay attention to time limits. We have a lot to do.
Each person has an equal voice.
Each person will participate fully.
Both the process and the end results are important.
No "show hogs."
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Each group will manage its own discussions and will have responsibility for keeping to time and topic. Here are useful roles for self-managing this work:
Discussion Leader - Assures that each person who wants to speak is heard within the time available. Keeps the group on track to finish on time.
Timekeeper - Keeps the group aware of the time left. Monitors reporters, signals time left and when time is up.
Recorder - Writes group's output on flip charts, using speaker's words. Asks people to restate long ideas succinctly.
Reporter - Delivers report to large group within the time allotted.
Data Manager - Sees that all flip charts are numbered and posted with table names and focus group members participating. Helps in collection and transcription of output.
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Take a few minutes to review the vision statement for Alternative Paths to Justice. Does it create the kind of future you would like to see in the year 2020? Do you have any suggested changes? Are there elements that give you problems? Does it seem far enough into the future?
Consider any possible changes and be prepared for an oral report of three minutes per group.
To help participants look into the future and suspend the belief that the future will just be more of the present and that today's problems are so overwhelming that we "don't have time" to look past today.
15 minutes for the exercise. Let the people review the material, then ask for comments, vision by vision.
Ask: Does the vision seem desirable? Is this something that will be important 25 years from today?
We are not here to redo the vision statement. It will be revised as we go, continually. The purpose of this exercise is to have the people starting thinking about the statement as we move to next steps.
Keep the time to 15 minutes so we will be able to report out. Be prepared for a three-minute report.
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This exercise uses a foresight technique called INCASTING, imagining the specific details of a possible future based on a more general description. Incasting begins with the "preferred future" derived from analyzing observed trends and emerging issues in society, the economy, technological innovation, the environment and political activity. Now that we have a general statement, we want to see what it looks like in more concrete and specific terms.
IN CARRYING OUT THIS EXERCISE, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SUSPEND ALL DISBELIEF. DO NOT ASK HOW THIS FUTURE CAME TO EXIST; DO NOT QUESTION ITS FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTIONS. YOU HAVE AWAKENED TO FIND YOURSELF LIVING IN IT. WHAT IS IT LIKE? REMEMBER JIM DATOR SAYING THAT TO BE WORTHWHILE, ANY STATEMENT ABOUT THE FUTURE MUST APPEAR RIDICULOUS!
Each group should designate one person to act as the group's recorder. The assignment is to draft future headlines that succinctly and vividly express the role of alternate methods of dispute resolution in this preferred vision of the year 2020. Try to design a cover page for Newsweek in 2020 (or its equivalent) and a headline for a local newspaper. If you are adventurous, you may try your hand at a 2020 New Yorker or other cartoon of the future.
Imagine what the forms of dispute resolution would be in this future. Take details to their logical, if extreme, conclusions. Remember that some traditional roles and procedures may disappear entirely. Some roles and activities may be transformed, existing in this future in an entirely new form. And this future may compel the creation of entirely new means and methods of dispute resolution in the fabric of the state courts. Exceed the boundaries of the present wherever you like. Your suggestions need only be logically consistent with the assumptions of the given vision statement.
In what new activities do those in the justice system engage given this vision in the future? What new tensions/problems hamper functioning in this scenario?
Be prepared to present your headlines and cartoons (in three minutes) to the group as a whole.
To help participants look at the future with more specificity, to stretch their minds and take a glimpse far ahead.
30 minutes, followed by three-minute per group reports.
Ask each small group to choose a recorder. You will have to allow some time to let everyone read the particular vision statements assigned.
The primary difficulty facilitators face with this exercise is the refusal of some participants to suspend their disbelief. Some want to question how it is possible to get to such a vision. Emphasize that the appropriate behavior for this exercise is to accept the conditions described as given and to imagine what it would feel like to work under these conditions, how they would play out in day-to-day details, and what adaptive responses participants could make as professionals in that future.
To enable participants to make this imaginative leap, you might informally ask if any are science fiction fans. They will grasp the gist of this exercise fairly quickly and can help act as "tour guides" to the future. Ask them to think about "Star Trek" or "Star Wars." Keep the focus specific. Make sure there is a timekeeper to move things along if the group gets hung up on details of one headline or another. Try to do a headline for each assigned vision and work on a cartoon if there is time. Or describe the cartoon and get the artwork done later.
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This exercise is a whole group exercise using what is called a "mind map."
Those in this room have an interest in seeing that we expand upon Alternate Dispute Resolution usage, both to relieve the increasing pressure on the courts and to provide more appropriate means of resolving many kinds of disputes. To have the kind of dispute resolution mechanisms that we envision in the year 2020, many people will have to join us in this view of a preferred future. They include a wide group of people, including legislators, the executive, the judiciary, members of the media, citizen groups, educators, and many more.
The facilitators will guide you through this. It works like tree branches, stemming out from the central core of "Our vision of APT Justice in 2020." You can add categories, groups or individuals. Let your mind flow, and get as much as you can up on the mind map.
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This exercise has two steps:
To focus the participants on designing logical links between the present and the vision, and to enhance group problem-solving and brainstorming skills.
45 minutes, including 10 minutes total to review the posted time lines.
Participants should use a flip chart or post a piece of flip chart paper on the wall. They should quickly begin brainstorming their precursor events with the recorder, jotting events down on the easel. After 15 or 20 minutes, the group should draw its timeline and then arrange the precursor events by jotting them on Post-it notes and temporarily sticking them on the timeline. When events are arranged to everyone's satisfaction, participants can write them permanently in appropriate positions on the time line.
Conceptually, this exercise is quite difficult. Working backwards is an unaccustomed mode for most people. The key question is, "What do we need to do before our goal of X can occur?" The best help is a good example. You can use the Apollo moon landing. Before landing a man on the moon, men had to orbit the moon. In order for that to happen, we had to calculate trajectories, planetary orbits, and effective speeds; we had to build a spaceship that could both orbit and land; we had to get that spaceship from earth to orbit, and hence had to build a rocket capable of carrying it. In order to build that rocket, we had to design it. In order to design it, we had to organize and hire engineering teams. In order to hire engineering teams, we had to allocate government funds. In order to have funds to allocate, we had to convince Congress to vote for the project, etc.
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Take another look at the vision statement, our headlines, the people we need to enroll, and our timeline. Individually, jot down a list of immediate actions we can take that would support both our vision as a whole and specific components of our vision. Estimate when we could begin and what time/resources we would need to accomplish this.
Take 15 minutes. Review your list. Consider which steps are most important to be started immediately.
If you would like to continue participating in this effort, pick one or more of the actions you listed (or others listed) that you would most enjoy doing. Your table leader will compile this list.
Your name: ________________________________________________
|Hours Per Month
I Can Devote to This
To list the actions that participants and others need actually to take to achieve the initial vision objectives, to estimate the time and resources necessary to complete those actions, and to ask for participant commitment to specific actions.
This exercise is basically four related brainstorming exercises. It will work with the workshop as a whole if two people are alternating recording the ideas. If in small working groups, one recorder for each group will suffice. This exercise asks the participants how to get specific to start building the vision and asks each of them to commit to helping.
People may be reluctant to commit to working on the vision or even refining it more. If this is the case, it is necessary to go backwards to insure that everyone-- or at least enough people-- are comfortable with the vision. Then enough people should be ready to go forward to set a leadership example by offering commitment to the next step. Some people simply will not commit at this stage, and you should not expect it of every participant.
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