Stout was retained by the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. We assisted with the development and implementation of a strategic action plan to provide effective assistance for all New York residents in matters involving the essentials of life. Through extensive research, system mapping, community interviewing, and collaborative planning and analysis, Stout assisted the Commission in developing a statewide strategic action plan that provides customization across local communities while utilizing various statewide strategies to provide effective assistance and improve access to justice.
The first year of implementation focused on establishing a pilot in one county in New York State where community stakeholders (e.g., civil legal services providers, places of worship, schools, courts, libraries, the healthcare community) collaborated to deliver effective assistance to community members in civil legal matters involving the essentials of life. Stout assisted community stakeholders with implementation and worked with them to create iterative processes and systems for impact evaluation. The Commission has relied upon Stout's expertise in community collaboration and strategic planning to expand its efforts to provide effective assistance to all New York residents in civil legal matters involving the essentials of life. With Stout's assistance, the Commission has established or initiated local access to justice initiatives in 13 counties across New York State.
Stout also conducts an annual economic impact assessment for the Commission and testifies to its findings at an annual hearing convened by the Chief Judge of the State of New York. Stout has found that for each dollar the State of New York spends on civil legal aid, it receives approximately $10 of economic benefit.