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Alaska Supreme Court Report: Fairness and Access Problems and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Alaska Justice Forum Volume: 14 Issue: 3 Dated: Fall 1997 Pages: 1-8
A Moras
Date Published
6 pages
This article presents the findings and recommendations of the Alaska Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Fairness and Access, which examined racial and ethnic biases in the operation of the Alaska Court System.
The published study, which was prepared by the Alaska Judicial Council, presents the findings and recommendations of the committee and the six subcommittees. According to the report, the committee received almost no complaints of intentional racial or cultural bias by the court system, but it learned about areas of unintentional bias, cultural misunderstandings, inadequate services, and lack of accessibility. The problems of access to the courts that emerge in the report pertain to language and communication, geography, and resources. The committee learned that many people do not understand the justice system and have difficulty using court services. The work of the committee spanned 20 months from January 1996 through September 1997. The subcommittees investigated distinct, but intertwined, areas of concern: rural access, language and culture, jury composition, disparate confinement, the court as employer, and consumer use of the courts. The committee recommendations presented in this article relate to increased rural access to the courts, public education about the courts, the language barrier for particular minorities, ways to improve court services for minorities, jury representation, and equal opportunity hiring of court personnel.


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