Language Barriers And Lack Of Interpreters In The Court Systems

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 Language Barriers and Lack of Interpreters in the Court Systems
Tonya Barrett
CJA/394
March 30, 2015
Mike Magee

The following paper will discuss the current language barriers and lack of interpreter availability in the court systems today. The court administrator is responsible for addressing this problem and improving the situation. Therefore, this paper will also cover the efforts that the court administrator has made to correct the issue at hand and whether the efforts have been successful or not.

With increasing diversity in the United States, the language barriers increase as well. These language barriers exist everywhere. They are present in schools, grocery stores, and even the court systems in the country. The court administrator is responsible for what goes on in the court room and addressing any problems or issues that may arise. In order to do this, it is necessary to approach the problem with an open mind and willingness to help those with a language barrier. The first step is to determine and admit that there is a problem with language barriers in the current court systems. The population in America is growing in leaps and bounds and the increase is not just white individuals that speak English. The fact that many Americans today do not speak English makes for a large problem and lack of communication in society. The court systems are no different. When there is a language barrier present in a court, this means that the individual before the judge will not understand or be understood. This makes it impossible for this person to receive a fair and speedy trial or experience before the court system. Not only are language barriers present, but the ability to bridge these gaps with an interpreter has also proven to be a problem as not all courts are equipped with translators at all times. The court administrator is the one who needs to train and educate court staff and stakeholders on the problems of language barriers and the lack of people to interpret different languages for the court system. The next step would be to train and certify interpreters to be present in the courts at all times. Collaboration and information sharing is also a big part of solving this problem. Without collaborating and communicating about this problem, nothing will change. Another method that may be implemented is a form of remote interpreting technology. This simply means that an interpreter may not be available on sight so the interpreting is done remotely by video from another location, usually a call centre. In order to do these things, it is a definite must that there is total compliance with all legal requirements involved. The last thing to do is to look for the funding to do these things. Coming up with the money is usually the biggest problem that faces the court administrator in the situation of dealing with language barriers and the lack of interpreters available.

The efforts made by the court administrator have been successful in some ways. However, there are still many individuals out there that need interpreters and they are not readily available to them. As society becomes more diverse, so does the need for increased numbers of interpreters in the court system. Though there may be people out there willing to learn to be interpreters and do the job of such, funding is not always available as it is needed to help with these types of changes.

In conclusion, court administrators have a very large task ahead of them. The task of making sure that every person that needs an interpreter receives one is vital to the fairness of the court system. It is not easy to ensure that interpreters are readily available in every court in the country. Training and funding for such training is not always easy to come by in the court system as the system is already overloaded, under staffed and short on money. The...