In courtrooms across the city and country, the phrase "In God We Trust" is common.

But now, it has plenty of company in Manhattan Criminal Court. Like the quote, "Truth is powerful and it prevails" by Sojourner Truth, the anti-slavery and women's right activist.

"You come in and you read, you see it around and you don't feel alone because there are quotes there," said Adam Mansky of the Center for Court Innovation.

The mayor's office of criminal justice worked with the state court system to install the new signs. 

Sitting in court, defendants and their families can read up on courtroom procedures, the constitutional right to a lawyer and how to pay penalties. There are even diagrams detailing who's who.

"If you are a member of the public or a defendant, it is pretty hard to navigate or to understand what your rights are. So by creating these signs, we are trying to amplify that, and a we are trying to create a more respectful atmosphere," Mansky said.

It is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's ongoing push to improve interactions between the public and law enforcement. The city is paying the nonprofit Center for Court Innovation $800,000 to research and come up with ways to make the courts fairer and more customer-friendly. 

"If a defendant feels they have been treated with respect, that they understand what's going on, that they have a voice in the process, and they feel that the judge is impartial, then they are more likely to perceive the process as being fair," Mansky said.

Starting in January, judges and court officers will be participating in workshops to learn how to make the court system a better place for everyone. That includes instructing judges and officers to be more respectful to defendants whether they're in court for a minor or serious offense. 

However, the head of the court officers' union says his men and women in blue are already respectful. 

"This is, quite frankly, a waste of taxpayer money, time and energy," said Patrick Cullen, president of the NYS Supreme Court Officers Association.

Cullen says the signs are an improvement, but is outraged by any suggestion his officers are not respectful. He is also upset with a survey being given defendants asking questions like "Did the judge, prosecutors and court officers treat you with respect and dignity?"

"Perhaps it is also a time that some defendants begin to give the court system in this city the respect they deserve," Cullen said.

The Center for Court Innovation says the goal is to get everyone to be more respectful in a system where conflict is common.