The New Jersey Supreme Court released a nine-point action plan today designed to support fairness and eliminate inequities in the New Jersey court system. The announcement builds upon a separate nine-point plan unveiled last year aimed at addressing racial and ethnic inequalities.
“Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, the Judiciary worked hard this past year to attempt to lift some of the burdens that fall disproportionately on Black and Latino individuals in our communities,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said in a statement. “Building on the framework and principles of last year’s Action Plan, the Court has again committed itself to a series of initiatives designed to foster a justice system that is accessible, equitable, and free from structural barriers and bias.”
Among the nine new 2021 initiatives are pledges to improve procedures and outcomes for those with mental health issues, require implicit bias training for judiciary employees, modernize and simplify court technology and language, and support job opportunities for those on probation or otherwise involved in the justice system.
The plan also provides updates on its 2020 action items, which included supporting juror impartiality, juvenile rehabilitation, and multilingual services.
“The 2020 Action Plan for Ensuring Equal Justice resulted in measurable benefits to people of color and others who historically have been underserved by or marginalized within the justice system,” the plan reads. “The Court in its Year 2 Action Plan again commits to initiatives that will yield immediate results as well as procedural and operational improvements that will position the New Jersey courts as a leader in fostering a system of justice that is accessible, equitable, and free from structural barriers and biases.”