What is a Court Watch?

A court watch program monitors the courts at the district and county levels. Court watch volunteers attend and observe sessions, record data, and their impressions to promote transparency and encourage transformation in our judicial process.

Court watching in the US gained prominence in New Orleans starting in 2016.

A year later, Chicago instituted its court watch program by training 100 volunteers to evaluate adherence to a new bail rule that was put into effect.

At the Cook County Central Bond Court, court watch findings recorded that the average amount required for bond decreased by half and those released without bail had increased.

Similar programs have followed in California, New York, and Massachusetts.

You can read more about the court watch movement here.