Date of this Version
In the 1980s, states began to study racial and ethnic bias in their judicial systems. Now that more than 25 states, along with scores of academics, have examined issues of racial fairness in the courts, models and strategies exist for effectively conducting these investigations. The National Center for State Courts, in conjunction with the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts, developed a best practices model for establishing and operating a task force or commission on racial and ethnic bias in the courts. The publication provides guidance on: creating the necessary momentum for establishing a task force or commission on racial and ethnic bias in the courts, fashioning the mandate or charge to the task force, outlining the roles and responsibilities of those involved, financing the initiative, managing the task-force process, establishing and implementing the research agenda, and disseminating the results. All of these components comprise what this author describes as the investigation phase of the process.