Adrienne Cobb

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The Washington State Minority and Justice Commission was created by order of the Washington State Supreme Court in 1990.1 The purpose was to "identify problems and make recommendations to ensure fair and equal treatment in the state courts for all parties, attorneys, court employees and other persons.i" In order to accomplish this mission the Commission established five sub-committees, one of which was theEducational Sub-Committee. The Educational Sub-Committee's mission is "to improve the administration of justice by developing and presenting educational programs designed to eliminate racial, ethnic, and cultural bias in the judicial system.:" As part of this mission the Education Sub-Committee recently began implementation of a bibliography of materials for cultural competency to assist judges and courtroom personnel in developing their understanding of various racial and ethnic cultures in order to promote justice in Washington State courts. This paper will discuss the motivation behind the creation of such a bibliography. Part one will discuss the background and progress of the Bibliography Project. Part two will provide an analysis of the shift in the racial and ethnic demographics of Washington State. Part three will have a special focus on immigrants and their experiences in the court system. Part four will then discuss whether there is evidence of bias in the courts. Part five will discuss the bibliography's likelihood of success by comparing it to the attempts of similar projects in other states.