Since its founding in 2005, the mission of the Judicial College has been to provide “education and training to judicial branch personnel to develop the abilities and values necessary to provide justice.” In the nearly four years that I have been in my role, I’ve consistently encountered a similar dedication to learning and fairness expressed by our clients: the judges, magistrates, clerks, and other court officials of North Carolina.
It is difficult to discuss prison conditions with just about anyone. Some are convinced that crime deserves prison, the more time the better. Others are appalled by statistics that reveal the huge number of prisoners in America. Politicians talk about being tough on crime, parents talk about spending more on education instead of on prisons. Private prisons seem to be having a heyday. Recently, much has been made of the number of minorities in American prisons, and the long sentences they serve compared to Whites. As court personnel, exposed daily to crimes against society, it is easy to become jaded about prison and prisoners.
Last year, the Education and Curriculum Committee along with the Diversity, Access, and Fairness Committee, released its newest curriculum design, “The Journey toward Diversity, Fairness, and Access through Education,” which is a roadmap for judicial educators and practitioners wishing to develop or integrate fairness and bias related topics. Early curriculum adopters have lauded it.
On February 25, 2016, NASJE’s Northeastern Region sponsored a webinar for NASJE members entitled Procedural Fairness for Court Staff: A Brief Curriculum for Teaching, facilitated by Kelly Tait, Immediate Past President of NASJE, and Joan Bishop, NASJE Northeastern Region Director. About 55 people participated in the webinar. It was a very quick-moving and informative exploration of how and why judicial branch educators should include the topic of procedural fairness in education programs for court personnel as well as judges.
How do courts deal with issues such as the disproportion of minority representation in the criminal and juvenile justice systems? How can court employees and judges act to overcome the perception that the criminal justice system is biased towards minority populations, as shown in research at ProceduralFairness.org and elsewhere? Pima County courts chose to tackle implicit bias training as one facet of their efforts to combat these and related issues in courts in Tucson, Arizona.
A consistent best-seller, the wide-ranging and authoritative Dictionary of Sociology was first published in 1994 and contains more than 2,500 entries on the terminology, methods, concepts, and thinkers in the field, as well as from the related fields of psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political science.
The third edition of Inviting Transformation continues to offer a refreshing, innovative approach to public speaking, or what the authors call presentational speaking to acknowledge that not all important speaking occurs in formal public settings. The book introduces readers to invitational rhetoric, a mode of communicating that offers an effective response to the diversity that characterizes the world.
In his compelling book Matt Taibbi builds a compelling case about inequality in the American criminal justice system, charging that one’s wealth or lack thereof largely affects how one fares in it. Mr. Taibbi demonstrates convincingly how and why Wall Street bankers, traders and hedge fund operators have never been convicted of crimes for their roles in the 2008 recession.
Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness.
We are excited to announce the completion of NASJE’s newest curriculum design! The history of this effort began when NASJE undertook, with support from State Justice Institute (SJI), the task of developing a comprehensive set of curriculum designs to advance the profession of judicial branch education based on core competency areas.