Delaware Takes Home Prestigious Awards from MAACM
The AOC's Pat Griffin, Maria Perez-Chambers and Franny Haney accepting the John Neufeld Court Achievement Award.
On October 1, 2013, the Administrative Office of the Courts' Court Interpreter Program received the 2013 John Neufeld Court Achievement Award. The John Neufeld Award recognizes the achievements of an individual, a group of individuals, or a court system that have developed or implemented a significant or innovative court program in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The award was presented at the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management (MAACM) Annual Conference's banquet luncheon in Atlantic City, New Jersey and accepted by the Court Interpreter Program team: Patricia Griffin, State Court Administrator, Maria Perez-Chambers, Court Interpreter Program Coordinator, and Franny M. Haney, Manager, Judicial Branch Education.
Patricia Griffin expressed her gratitude for the award bestowed upon the program and acknowledged her team's hard work, commitment and dedication to promoting language access in the courts since the program's inception in 1996. She also noted that this achievement was, in reality, recognition of the "collective efforts of all state courts working individually and collaboratively in concert with the Conference of Chief Justices and State Court Administrators, and the National Center for State Courts" that have long "recognized the importance of preventing language access issues from intruding into the process of justice."
Delaware has played a leadership role in the language access area at the national level through its activities following the 2012 National Summit on Language Access in the Courts and by the work of its State Court Administrator, Patricia Griffin, who served on the advisory committee for the 2012 National Summit on Language Access in the Courts. The Court Interpreter Program has implemented many initiatives in Delaware to serve Limited English Proficient (LEP) litigants and track those services so that it can respond to present needs and anticipate future demands. The greatest linguistic needs in Delaware courts are currently Spanish (92%), French Creole (2%) and Mandarin (.4%) services.
Far from resting on its laurels, the Court Interpreter Program continues to seek new ways to improve the services offered to LEP individuals through ongoing translation of critical documents, expansion of the Limited Legal Assistance Program to Family Court litigants who speak Spanish, and enhanced tools for staff at first points of contact with court litigants.
The Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management also presented the Association's Outstanding Service Award to Franny M. Haney of the Administrative Office of the Courts in recognition of her many years of service to the organization. Franny accepted the award at MAACM's annual conference luncheon on October 1, 2013, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.