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Committee for Equality and Justice

In June 2010, the Minnesota Judicial Council created the Committee for Equality and Justice.   The Committee was established to advance the Judicial Branch's efforts to eliminate from court operations bias that is based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, and any other status protected by law.  The Committee is charged with:

  1. Ensuring equal access to the courts and a fair and impartial courtroom;
  2. Providing fair treatment of court users and employees;
  3. Recommending education programs and course materials for judges and Judicial Branch employees;
  4. Continuing to implement and monitor the recommendations of the Minnesota Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts;
  5. Continuing to implement and monitor the recommendations of the Race Bias Task Force);
  6. Promoting diversity in the appointments to Judicial Branch committees and boards to reflect the population served by the Judicial Branch;
  7. Promoting diversity in the selection and retention of court employees to reflect the population served by the Judicial Branch;
  8. Promoting diversity in the selection of judges to reflect the population served by the Judicial Branch; and
  9. Promoting a high level of trust and public confidence in the judicial system.

Membership for the Committee for Equality and Justice is reflective of the state’s geographic and demographic diversity. It is comprised of 33 individuals who are justice system partners, attorneys, court employees, judges and members of the public.

Click here for information on Minnesota Court Equality and Justice Data.

Community Dialogue Sessions

Since June 2008 the Racial Fairness Committee, along with the Equal Justice Committees from each judicial district, engaged in an initiative aimed at learning how the community views racial and ethnic fairness in the Minnesota Court system. The Community Dialogue Plan was piloted on June 30, 2008 in the Second Judicial District.

Pilot Session Report - St. Paul, June 2008

Since the pilot session other judicial districts have hosted Community Dialogue Sessions with their local community members. Below are the final summary reports* from each Community Dialogue Session that has been held utilizing this plan.

Tenth Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Grand Casino, Hinckley, February 2012
Tenth Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Hinckley, May 2011
Third Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - RochesterOctober 2010
First Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Chaska, April 2010
Tenth Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Columbia Heights, May 2009
First Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Eagan, September 2008
First Judicial District Community Dialogue Session Report - Dakota County Jail, October 2008

*The suggestions proposed at the Community Dialogue Sessions are reported here to reflect the substance of the discussion at each Dialogue Session. Unless otherwise noted, the Judicial Branch has not formally adopted these suggestions for implementation.

Questions about the committee may be directed to:

Melanie Larsen Sinouthasy
State Court Administrator's Office
651-284-4343 
Minnesota Judicial Center (MJC)
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155