The Justice Department approved a language access plan released by the Colorado Supreme Court just last week. Adoption of the plan was required by an agreement signed on June 28, 2011, by the Department and the Colorado courts to settle a civil rights investigation. The investigation arose after a complaint was filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the nondiscrimination provisions of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 alleging that the courts were engaged in national origin discrimination by failing to provide comprehensive language access to all proceedings and court operations.
The “Strategic Plan for Implementing Enhanced Language Access in Colorado State Courts” sets forth a series of guideposts over the next two years for the court system to implement the directive when the agreement was signed. While any good language access plan has to set appropriate priorities in light of existing conditions, the structure and scope of the Colorado plan will be instructive for other entities adopting or revising plans.
Here is the plan itself. It is comprehensive, and includes policy, areas of management responsibility, and a complaint procedure.