Brennan Center for Justice: Language Access in State Courts

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on July 12, 2009

Brennan Center for Justice: Language Access in State Courts, Laura Abel

  • “Nearly 25 million people in this country have limited proficiency in English (LEP), meaning that they cannot protect their rights in court without the assistance of an interpreter. At least 13 million of those people live in states that do not require their courts to provide interpreters to LEP individuals in most types of civil cases. Another 6 million live in states that undercut their commitment to provide interpreters by charging for them. And many live in states that do not ensure that the “interpreters” they provide can speak English, speak the language to be interpreted, or know how to interpret in the specialized courtroom setting. Many of those states are violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which requires state courts receiving federal assistance to provide interpreters to people who need them.The Brennan Center compiled this series of “state summaries” to determine the extent to which the 35 states with the highest proportion of limited English proficient people (as a percentage of population) comply with the guidelines regarding providing interpreters in all civil cases free of charge and ensuring that interpreters are competent.”
  • State Summaries: “The Brennan Center compiled this series of “state summaries” to determine the extent to which the 35 states with the highest proportion of limited English proficient people (as a percentage of population) comply with the guidelines regarding providing interpreters in all civil cases free of charge and ensuring that interpreters are competent.”
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