Why are courts struggling to engage (minority) communities?

At the National Association for court Management, I attended the session on how courts are focused on better engaging minority and disadvantaged communities.

There are many dynamics that feed into the poor relationship:

  • Predatory Practices by municipal courts -with bail, fines, fees practices that take money from people in punishing ways
  • Implicit Bias of police and judicial officers — well-intentioned professionals who still perpetuate a biased system
  • Lack of formal outreach and engagement work
  • History of racism, that contributes to a community suspicion of the police and the courts
  • Lack of rigorous data that can convince authorities of problems — anecdotes aren’t convincing enough