Date of this Version
The Nebraska Minority and Justice Task Force was formed in 1999 by the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) to examine issues of racial and ethnic fairness within the Nebraska court and legal systems. Through two substantial grants from the State Justice Institute (SJI), administered through the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, the Minority and Justice Task Force undertook a two-year research project, which culminated in a 200-page final report (the Final Report is available on-line at www.nebar.com and www.unl.edu/ppc). The report investigated topics as diverse as potential bias in criminal prosecution, sentencing, jury composition, court personnel hiring, law school admissions, and any number of other related issues over four comprehensive areas of the system of justice: access to the courts, personnel and employment practices in the courts, the legal profession in the state of Nebraska, and criminal and juvenile court processes. Approximately a dozen U.S. state Supreme Courts have undertaken similar projects approaching this scale, but no other project has been as comprehensive.
The major recommendation of the Final Report was to establish a standing committee to implement the Task Force recommendations. The Minority and Justice Implementation Committee, consisting of a racially and ethnically diverse group of judges, lawyers and community leaders, has been formed and is currently working to implement the Task Force recommendations.
In addition to summarizing the major findings made in the Final Report, this Report discusses the progress made by the Implementation Committee and other justice agencies and organizations since the release of the Final Report. The Implementation Committee is at the beginning stages of a long-term effort. While it may take years to fully implement many of the recommendations, the Implementation Committee is developing long-term plans to promote change. To provide feedback or suggestions to the Implementation Committee please use the form provided in Appendix C and return it to the NSBA. Or click on the feedback link provided on the NSBA’s website at www.nebar.com
Interest in the Minority and Justice Implementation Committee’s mission and activities is appreciated and encouraged. To receive continual information on the Implementation Committee’s efforts and events, please print your contact information on the form provided in Appendix D and return it to the NSBA.