OKLAHOMANS PROJECTED TO BENEFIT
ESTIMATED PROJECT DURATION
The Oklahoma Supreme Court is committed to ensuring equal access to justice for all individuals regardless of their ability to communicate in the spoken English language. Interpreters play an essential role in ensuring due process and helping court proceedings function efficiently and effectively. This proposal encompasses four electronic enhancements to ensure interpreting is used when appropriate while ensuring the safety of both the interpreter and the client in the midst of a pandemic. These enhancements will support COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control, will increase social distancing and protection of court officials and patrons, and are needed to satisfy Department of Justice requirements for language access services inside and outside the courtroom.
The Civil Rights Division of the DOJ has stated the language access requirements of Title VI continue to apply to the courts, even during the pandemic. See, e.g., https://www.lep.gov/leading-coordinated-civil-rights-response-coronavirus-covid-19. The pandemic has required courts to innovate, increase the use of remote proceedings, and expand technology into court operations. This project involves remote interpreting equipment and translated information which enhances the ongoing innovation efforts to administer justice via virtual technologies. Improving the remote interpreting technology will enable the Oklahoma courts to fulfill their constitutional mission of providing language access to limited English proficient persons during the pandemic.
According to the US Census COVID-19 Impact Report, Oklahoma has a population of approximately 145,000 who speak English ?less than very well.? https://uscensus.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/7f254e8861bd48df9532fc6e6e829571. Racial and ethnic minority communities face ongoing challenges in the pandemic, as they may be disproportionately affected by chronic medical conditions and lower access to healthcare that may result in worse COVID-19 outcomes. Furthermore, minority communities may be more likely to experience living and working conditions that expose them to worse health, housing, employment, and financial conditions than non-minority communities.
This project involves one-time purchases of interpreting equipment and translated forms to enhance language access in the Oklahoma courts. Project performance will be measured by the successful installation of the purchased items, and utilization by the courts, interpreters, and the public. Programmatic data related to use of court forms and courtroom equipment is not captured in our existing systems, but implementation will be tracked for each county and statewide, and utilization data will be gathered, if it is available.
ONGOING INVESTMENT AMOUNT
ONGOING INVESTMENT DESCRIPTION
ONGOING INVESTMENT REQUIRED
Able to continue operation without additional funding from the State of Oklahoma
Other Economic Support
FEDERAL GRANT AMOUNT
FEDERAL GRANT DESCRIPTION
Grant for Court Improvement Program by supporting judges handling juvenile deprived cases.
Data source: Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services / More information »