Outside of New York City, the number of Family Court judgeships has increased by four over the past decade to 102.
The Legislature and governor have repeatedly rebuffed attempts, backed by the Office of Court Administration, to create new judgeships for Family and other courts. Opponents usually cite the costs of creating new judgeships.
Lindenauer said the taskforce felt that new Family Court judges could be made available through the "circuitous" route of designating Court of Claims judges.
There was no immediate comment from legislative chairs who have oversight over judicial matters on creation of more Court of Claims' judgeships.
There are 80 Court of Claims judges, about two-thirds of whom are designated acting Supreme Court justices to serve as needed on busy benches, according to court administrators. The rest hear monetary claims against the state.
In the meantime, the taskforce said that where possible, the courts should fund judicial hearing officers, court referees and support magistrates. While the "quasi-judicial decision-makers are not a substitute for Family Court judges," the state bar committee said they can play a valuable role in helping judges move caseloads forward.
Another recommendation was to expand court days and to make legal services more readily available to litigants in Family Court.
Lindenauer acknowledged in an interview that while funds are tight everywhere in the judicial system, the lower economic status of many Family Court litigants demands they receive legal help where possible.
"If you believe that there should be access to justice, then the poor people's court is deserving of the resources that they need and this is certainly a poor people's court, on the whole," she said.
The resolution on solitary confinement stemmed from a report by the Committee on Civil Rights focusing on the psychological and physical dangers to prisoners subjected to solitary confinement too often and for too long.
According to the report, about 4,500 of the some 56,000 state prison inmates are assigned to solitary confinement at any one time. The average stay in solitary is about five months and about 2,700 of the prisoners have been in for one year or more, according to the chief author of the report, Karen Murtagh, executive director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.
There are no limits on how long inmates can be assigned to solitary confinement, Murtagh said.
The resolution calls on the state to limit solitary confinement to no more than 15 days. And the Committee on Civil Rights called on the bar group to urge for a law spelling out limits on solitary confinement.