New Guidelines for Law Enforcement Broaden Access to Justice for Non-Native English Speakers and Persons with Hearing Disabilities

GLSP’s newly developed model language access plan offers practical suggestions and resources to assist Georgia law enforcement agencies with meeting its legal obligations to ensure that limited English proficient and deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals have meaningful access to the agency’s services. This model plan is adaptable to local needs and can assist in identifying those who need language assistance; notifying the public of language assistance services; developing procedures for interpretation services in interviews, interrogations, filing complaints, and document translation; outlining training for agency staff and required qualifications for interpreters; and more. As a recipient of federal funds, the failure to provide meaningful language access can result in the filing of a federal lawsuit and the possible loss of federal funding under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Safe Streets Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and their implementing regulations.

Download the model language access plan here. (Appendices available here.)

Read the Vera Institute of Justice report Overcoming Language Barriers: Solutions for Law Enforcement here.

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Celebrate Georgia’s Unsung Heroes for Justice on March 14

Aside

Please join the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) in honoring its 2012-13 Champions of Justice at a reception on March 14, 2013 at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center.

A Champion of Justice acts as an ambassador for GLSP with the Bar and/or state and federal policymakers and/or the public at large and is recognized for achievements, contributions, or other services to GLSP and continuing service to the legal profession and the cause of justice.  Purchase your tickets now!

 


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Remapping the debate: Legal services funding

The relentless push to bleed Legal Services dry

June 6, 2012 — Ask people about the things that make America a “country of laws,” and one answer you will likely get is that everyone is entitled to be represented by a lawyer of his or her choice. But that promise has little meaning to more and more families at or near the poverty level. They’re among the millions of Americans for whom having a lawyer is a luxury beyond reach. Such families cannot afford a lawyer to defend them in an eviction proceeding, to fight a wrongful denial of veteran’s benefits, or to help get a restraining order to protect against an abusive spouse. Read more…

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A summons to the White House

Phyllis Holmen at the White House

Phyllis Holmen at the White House.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

By Phyllis J. Holmen, Special to the Daily Report

The phone call came during a board meeting. The president of the Legal Services Corp. urged that I leave the meeting and call back. “It’s important. We want you to come to the White House and talk about what you do,” he said.

Really?

Six of us were chosen from around the country, directors of legal aid and legal services organizations accustomed to toiling quietly in the hinterlands. We work on behalf of low-income folks with the kind of life-and-death legal problems that the poor face: the plague of domestic violence, the near impossibility of maintaining a family structure in the face of grinding poverty, the gut-wrenching choices that have to be made between paying medical bills or buying groceries.

Read more…
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