ChesterNewMatterSummer2017 - 26

From the Bench

Continued from page 25
hearing court users. The plan was approved by the Supreme
Court in March, 2017.
The newly adopted plan is a comprehensive, 49-page guide
for effective training, tools, procedures and protocols to assist
in identifying the need for language services at the earliest
possible point in the judicial process, providing the needed
language services, and monitoring the use and effectiveness
of the available services. It addresses, in detail, required and
recommended practices in all areas of interaction, including
LEP encounters at counters of court-related offices, in-court
interpreter requirements, and post-adjudication LEP needs
such as drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment. It also calls
for translation of standard court forms, access to interpreters
by telephone when appropriate, and encourages the hiring of
bi-lingual staff in court-related offices.
A computer application program called Language Access
Data Collection will be utilized to monitor the effectiveness
of the Language Access Plan, track changes in language
needs and support funding requests at both the state and
local level. All 60 judicial districts will input their language
access data into this program. This data collection will allow
the Administrative office of the Courts to effectively allocate
resources and make necessary improvements and changes to
the Language Access Plans.
In 2016, the state legislature appropriated $1.5 million to
assist counties in implementing a language access program.
In 2016 courts spent $3.2 million to provide language access
services and interpreters.
The plan also sets forth timelines for training for judges,
court staff, and attorneys relating to all language access

requirements and protocols. Training curriculum for attorneys
will be coordinated by AOPC and PBI and will begin during
year two of the recently approved plan.
The full Language Access Plan can be viewed and downloaded
on the state court system website: www.pacourts.us.

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26 | New Matter


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