Judge, Lawyer, Professor, and Renowned Criminal Justice Reform Advocate
Driven. Innovative. Inspiring. These are a few of the words used to describe Judge Victoria Pratt who has gained national and international acclaim for her commitment to reforming the criminal justice system. During her tenure as the Chief Judge in Newark Municipal Court in Newark, New Jersey, she spent years gaining a deep understanding of how justice could be delivered to court participants in a manner that increased their trust in the legal system and changed their behavior.
While presiding over Newark Community Solutions, the Community Court Program, she used creative problem solving to provide alternatives to jail to low-level offenders. These alternatives included community service, individual and group counseling sessions, and her signature assignment of introspective essays. Called a pioneer in procedural justice, her respectful approach, and treating individuals with dignity has had a positive effect on court participants’ court experience, how the community viewed the court and how court players viewed their roles.
Her TED Talk, How Judges Can Show Respect, has gone viral. It has been translated into 11 languages, received over one million views and the Facebook clip has received an astounding 21 million views.
Criminal Justice Reform
A fierce advocate committed to reform, Pratt has worked with jurisdictions across the nation, and as far as Ukraine, England, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. In that role she facilitates workshops and presentations on alternative sentencing for juveniles and adults, as well as procedural justice.
As a nationally recognized expert in procedural justice and alternative sentencing, Judge Pratt has been asked by numerous professional organizations to share her story and philosophy. Pratt’s work has been featured in The Guardian newspaper, The Simple Idea that Could Transform U.S. Criminal Justice, and Rutgers Magazine, Asking for a Little Respect, both written by Pulitzer prize winning author Tina Rosenberg.
Her new book The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities shows how we can transform courtrooms, neighborhoods, and our nation to support the vulnerable and heal community rifts.
She has also appeared on MSNBC’s the Melissa Harris Perry Show, the Emmy-award winning PBS show Due Process- Community Court: A Kinder, Gentler Way? and National Public Radio’s WBGO: Conversations with Allan Wolper.
Rutgers Law School
Now, a Professor at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, she teaches Problem Solving Justice and Restorative Justice. She also continues to champion criminal justice reform through her consulting firm Pratt Lucien Consultants, LLC, by sharing her skills and approach with others. As well as speaking to leaders of institutions and organizations about how to heighten and restore respect into their day-to-day operations so that their mission can be better achieved.
Pratt is licensed to practice law in both New Jersey and New York, and is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. She also facilitates Mountain Movers empowerment sessions to help individuals live their best lives.
Why What We Do Matters
How can we ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect in the halls of justice around the world? During this talk, a pioneering judge in New Jersey, Victoria Pratt shares the principles of "procedural justice" -- four simple, thoughtful steps that redefined the everyday business of her courtroom in Newark, changing lives along the way. She takes her audience on a journey of changing the hearts and minds of those who work in and encounter the justice system. "When the court behaves differently, naturally people respond differently," Pratt says. "We want people to enter our halls of justice and know that justice will be served there." As a workshop, Judge Pratt will provide an overview and practical application of the principles of procedural justice assisting judges and criminal justice professionals develop new techniques to improve communication and ensure greater trust for the justice system.
The Power of Respect
The idea of respect for people, institutions, and rules has slowly withered in our society. Those most affected by this raise their voice to demand greater appreciation for their humanity. How can business and organizational leaders establish, restore, or heighten respect in its day-to-day operations, so that its mission can be better achieved? In this talk or workshop, Judge Victoria Pratt helps you understand The Power of Respect and incorporate respect into your core values and daily practices.
In this speech, Judge Pratt gives her audience fundamental principles to apply in the quest to achieve their best lives. By sharing personal stories, tips for focusing on goals, and strategies for overcoming obstacles, her audiences leave feeling unstoppable in the pursuit of their goals and dreams.
All Judge Victoria Pratt Books
The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our CommunitiesPurchase Book
“An idea to transform criminal justice: caring. Hope all courts can learn from this brilliant judge.”
- | SIR RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER OF VIRGIN
“A warrior of procedural justice.”
- | JUDGE FERN FISHER
“Victoria Pratt is one of a kind. In her work on the bench, she helped transform the face of justice in Newark, New Jersey. She is a powerful speaker who always leaves her audiences wanting more.”
- | GREG BERMAN, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR COURT INNOVATION