Why What We Do Matters
In 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 Inclusion
Judge 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.
Women’s Empowerment: Unleashing Your Gifts
In this riveting and motivational keynote, Judge Victoria Pratt unpacks what it means to unleash one’s gifts – to up-level ourselves, society, industry, and the world. As the daughter of a Dominican beautician and an African American garbage man, Judge Pratt learned to treat everyone she meets with dignity and respect – she shares how this gift has shaped the story of her life. Judge Pratt offers three lessons with actionable takeaways about dealing with criticism, responding to hearing ‘no’, and how to take action in the face of failure.
Renowned Judge Victoria Pratt is transforming the justice system with her book ‘The Power of Dignity’
Heralded as a pioneer in procedural justice, renowned Judge Victoria Pratt is the author The Power of Dignity: How Transforming Justice Can Heal Our Communities – a powerful book about how we can transform courtrooms, neighborhoods, and our nation to support the vulnerable and heal community rifts. Pratt is the Black and Latina daughter of a working-class family, who learned to treat everyone with dignity, no matter their background. As 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, and Pratt became the judge of second chances, because she knew too few get a first one. Her impactful book, with a foreword by Senator Cory Booker, asks what the justice system would look like if we put respect at the center. As Pratt illuminates, that’s the power of dignity.
Pratt’s book has received glowing reviews, and she has been sought-after to share her insights about the justice system, leadership, DEI, and finding unity in a fractured world. The Los Angeles Review of Books called her debut “mandatory reading,” and Booklist praised her gift for “weaving together hope and optimism,” saying “her research, backed up by these experiences, makes her deeply personal, beautifully written debut all the more impactful.” In her sought-after keynotes, as well as her writing, Pratt’s insights receive rave reviews from her audiences: “Chief Judge Victoria Pratt was our keynote speaker for the Men & Women of Color Symposium at Rutgers University. The crowd was excited and engaged during the entire keynote address. I highly recommend Chief Judge Pratt. You will not be disappointed!” (Rutgers University)
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 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.