An effort to evaluate courthouse accessibility and the fair, respectful treatment of court users is underway in the eight divisions of the Boston Municipal Court Department. A team was appointed by Chief Justice Charles R. Johnson to develop and implement this survey of all courthouse users, including litigants, attorneys, law enforcement personnel and jurors. The Access and Fairness initiative introduces another CourTool measurement developed by the National Center for State Courts. All court departments currently use CourTools to assess timely and expeditious case management.
Chief Justice Johnson proposed the Boston Municipal Court Department as the Trial Court’s pilot department for implementation of the Access and Fairness initiative. The Roxbury Division volunteered to pilot the survey and received 248 surveys over two days in August. As a result of the successful effort in Roxbury, implementation of the Access and Fairness initiative continued throughout the Boston Municipal Court divisions and will be completed by the end of November. Results will be compiled and reviewed with each court division. Surveys in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese ensured that all court users could participate.
“I commend the Boston Municipal Court Department for taking the challenge and risk to pilot a new assessment tool,” said Chief Justice for Administration & Management Robert A. Mulligan. “The commitment and enthusiasm of the project team produced a very effective model for seeking court users’ opinions. This effort extends our commitment to accountability and continuous improvement.”
The Boston Municipal Court Department’s Access and Fairness implementation team includes Honorable Michael Bolden, Chair; Clerk Magistrate Anthony Owens; First Assistant Clerk Patricia McDermott; Assistant Clerk Linda Scanlon; Administrative Attorney Lisa Yee; and Fiscal Affairs Coordinator Joanne Hoey.
For more information, contact Administrative Attorney Lisa Yee in the Boston Municipal Court Department Administrative Office at 617-788-8715.
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