This is the third in a series of webinars on combating systemic racism in trial courts. It was held on September 24, 2020. Part I (July) established an awareness that all U.S. organizations, including trial courts, have baked within their policies, practices, and norms inequities that disadvantage people of color. Part II (August) emphasized the…
Most of the news about the postal service today is related to voting, but the reorganization of the postal service by the federal administration presents potential problems for trial courts, too. Recently, the National Center for State Courts’ Tiny Chat series, an array of bite-sized annotated videos touching on specific access to justice topics and overall court operations, presented a chat on how post office changes can negatively affect trial courts.
Research indicates that most U.S. organizations, including trial courts, have imbedded policies and procedures that produce inequities and disparities for people of color. This insight is not an accusation that all those in a system are racist. It means that regardless of the intentions of those who work within them, organization norms discriminate and cause racially unfair outcomes. This webinar focuses on how to identify, tackle, and remove those problems.
The pandemic has required many people to make difficult judgments. Politicians have had to decide which restrictions to impose on citizens’ behavior and individuals were forced to assess how much personal risk to take. Managers, faced with tough calls like which parts of their operations to close, have not been spared.
Our nation is hurting. Outcries for racial equality are heard and seen around the globe. Institutional racism and discrimination exist throughout our society, including in justice systems and trial courts. Systemic inequalities and injustices can be manifested either directly or indirectly. All are harmful and unfair. Understanding and identifying systemic racism is an essential first step in eliminating these persistent inequalities and injustices.
On June 25, 2020, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about the anxiety and stress in returning to the workplace in the midst of COVID-19 and budget challenges loom large in the minds of judges and court staff. Added to this dynamic is the national focus on racism and its rightful demands on the justice community, including trial courts. How can court leaders address these challenges and promote a mentally healthy workplace and environment? Trial courts need constructive, empathetic, and effective leaders.
Amid nationwide outrage over the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of violent police officers, it is easy to overlook another racial justice issue that has been simmering beneath the surface — the unfair exclusion of blacks from jury service. In Connecticut, concrete steps are being taken to investigate this problem and devise solutions.