Language Access in the California Courts

The result of an 18-month effort, the Judicial Council of California recently voted to approve an historic language services plan for the 58 superior courts in the state. The plan calls for a consistent statewide approach that will include the immediate formation of an implementation task force to recommend and develop ways to carry out the plan. Once again, California is a state to watch for judiciary interpreters. You can find the full press release here.

NAJIT wants to know! How does your home state approach language access, and what do you think about California’s new plan? Comment below!

Strategic Plan for Language Access in  the California Courts*

* This PDF of the plan includes comments by various stakeholders and how the committee addressed those concerns – an excellent way to understand the final version more clearly!

6 thoughts on “Language Access in the California Courts”

  1. Edgar Hidalgo says:

    Very interesting Jennifer. The Strategic Language Plan is 247 pages! Will start to read it this weekend. It is important to pay attention to the minutiae. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jennifer De La Cruz says:

      Hi, Edgar!

      Just yesterday they published an executive summary. Check this out:


  2. This is definitely interesting. California is very diverse when it comes to culture and languages, and offering this will help give LEP’s better ground when it comes to presenting their case in court. By letting such services available, bias over interpretation and translation is eliminated, and partiality is controlled.

    With the budget offered, let us hope that courts will take the time to hire professional trained language interpreters and not make cuts by hiring bilingual individuals who are not trained to do court translation.

    1. Jennifer De La Cruz says:

      Thank you for commenting. I can tell you that stakeholders in the interpreting profession have been working very hard to protect the quality of interpretation provided. It will definitely be interesting to see how the implementation team tackles the task on a global level.

  3. Gladys Matthews says:

    Hello Jennifer,

    We are working on the implementation of a language access plan in Indiana and I shared your post with the person in charge of this initiative. She found it very helpful.
    Thanks for the post.

    Gladys Matthews

  4. CalDep says:

    Great job Najit.

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