Judge Victoria Pratt
Fee Range< $25,000
At a glance:The Black and Latina daughter of a working-class family, Victoria Pratt learned to treat everyone with dignity, no matter their background. When she became Newark Municipal Court’s chief judge, she knew well the inequities that poor, mentally ill, Black, and brown people faced in the criminal justice system.
Dynamic. Captivating. Relevant. These are just a few words used to describe Judge Victoria Pratt. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her commitment to reforming the criminal justice system. She’s been called a pioneer in procedural justice–a simple, proven approach to transforming our court system using the power of dignity and respect. While presiding over court, she used procedural justice and innovative problem solving to provide alternative sentences to low-level offenders, including community service, counseling sessions, and her signature assignment of introspective essays. Her respectful approach has had a transformational impact on court participants, the community, and court practitioners. She’s been featured in media outlets such as The Guardian, Forbes, and PBS, to name a few. Her highly viewed TED Talk, How Judges Can Show Respect, has been listed as one of the Top 15 Most Viral Motivational Talks on Facebook, with over 37 million views. Considered a global expert, she’s worked in Dubai, Ukraine, England, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico. Her book The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities, published through Seal Press/The Hachette Book Group, was released on May 10, 2022, to rave reviews.
She has worked with corporations such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Prudential, as well as other institutions and organizations. She has served as a Professor of Professional Practice at Rutgers School of Law and School of Criminal Justice in Newark, NJ. Currently, she’s the Executive Director of Impact Odyssey—an organization that uses storytelling, film, and faith voices to catalyze action for social justice. She champions criminal justice reform through her consulting firm Pratt Lucien Consultants, LLC, by sharing her skills and approach with others. Currently, she consults with various jurisdictions, organizations, and companies through her company, Pratt Lucien Consultants, LLC, on procedural justice, transforming justice, DEI and leadership.
Why What We Do MattersIn the halls of justice around the world, how can we ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect? 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. During this talk, she takes you 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." This respectful approach to justice, supported by data, which focuses on the interpersonal treatment the public receives throughout the process, ultimately improves the public’s trust in the justice system and increases compliance with the law.
Prioritizing Dignity and Respect in Diversity, Equity, and InclusionJudge Pratt’s philosophy and approach in the courtroom in prioritizing dignity and respect is key to developing and supporting an effective DEI strategy that results in better recruitment and retention of employees. This presentation explores the principle of procedural justice and how its application can counter stereotypes, implicit and confirmation bias and improve decision-making.