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Increasing diversity and fostering inclusion

September 8, 2021

In the latest edition of Trends of the State Courts, the article A Court System’s Guide to Increasing Diversity and Fostering Inclusion by Patrick Carrington, the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator of Kentucky State Courts, shared some of the actions they have taken to increase the diversity of their workforce and create a more inclusive work environment. The author stated the importance of organizations understanding diversity and inclusion and how these two ideas can impact the workforce. Some of the actions that the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (KAOC) began include:

  • Establishing formal policy shows the importance  KAOC is giving towards promoting diversity, fostering inclusion, and creating a work environment where all members are equally valued, respected, and included.
  • The KAOC felt it was necessary to create a space so staff members could share their feelings and also to discuss ways to help in times of need.
  • The KAOC addressed racial and ethnic disparities by developing a four-step model guide that serves to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities. The four steps are: identify disproportionality and disparities within the organization; construct strategies that will aggressively address the challenges and barriers to the desired equitable outcomes; institutionalize the effective processes that have proven to be successful; and reevaluate efforts to measure progress for continuous quality improvement.
  • Courts should connect with groups within each jurisdiction that are predominantly serving minorities, which will assist courts in understanding how best to serve these groups.
  • Taking the time to recognize and celebrate diversity within a court system or any organization can be very rewarding and educational for staff.

NCSC has resources on this topic on its Racial Justice webpage. Recently, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), with support of the National Center for State Courts, launched the Blueprint for Racial Justice. The objective is to take immediate and recognizable steps to improve racial justice, equity, and inclusion in the justice system. The goal is “to ensure that all court users, litigants, and community members across the country are heard, listened to, and respected by the nation’s justice system.”

What is your court doing to increase diversity and inclusion in your court?  Follow the National Center for State Courts on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Vimeo and share your experiences!

For more information, contact Knowledge@ncsc.org or call 800-616-6164.