Monday, March 27, 2023

New York Courts’ Equal Justice Initiative Issues Progress Report

The New York State Office of Court Administration has released a report updating the status of the court system’s Equal Justice Initiative.

“Equal Justice in the New York State Courts: 2022 Year in Review,” highlights the court system’s statewide efforts over the past year "to promote diversity and inclusiveness on the bench and in the courts’ workforce and foster a safe, welcoming and bias-free environment."

Initiatives highlighted in the March 8 report include:

▪ Mandating comprehensive racial bias training for all judges and nonjudicial staff.
▪ Expanding the resources of the court system’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).
▪ Revising human resources and interview practices.
▪ Creating Equal Justice Committees in each of the court system’s 13 judicial districts to implement reforms at the local level.
▪ Developing a bench card for judges, with tips on using LGBTQ+-inclusive language and pronouns.
▪ Expanding Virtual Court Access Network (VCAN) sites to help bridge the digital divide by providing remote access to courts in locations such as libraries, houses of worship and community centers.
▪ Appointing a Statewide Equal Justice Coordinator.

The full report is available online here.