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For immediate release: November 26, 2007
For further information contact:
Trial Court Administrator’s Office
Donna Mazzanti or Deborah Edwards
Superior Court of New Jersey
49 Rancocas Road
Mount Holly, New Jersey  08060

Burlington Courts Minority Concerns Committee Looks to Expand

MOUNT HOLLY—Burlington County Assignment Judge John A. Sweeney praised Judge Karen L. Suter for her work as the chair of the Burlington County Superior Court Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns. The membership of this committee comprises community leaders, representatives from area businesses, the bar association and local citizens and is seeking to expand its membership from the local community.

The committee advises the assignment judge on developing local initiatives to improve the administration of justice for all citizens of Burlington County and focuses on issues involving public education, availability of court services, minority inclusion, self-represented litigants, and juvenile justice. Goals for the committee include establishing better communication with the community and expanding job recruitment efforts for minorities in the courts. Educational opportunities to help court staff work together in a diverse atmosphere are conducted.

The committee has sponsored three community Law Day programs.  The programs, which were free and open to the public, offered information on court programs, presentations and consultations with attorneys on topics such as elder care, bankruptcy, domestic violence, family law and wills.

Members developed the PACT Project, an innovative approach to working with juvenile offenders charged with acts of delinquency. The project is an ongoing program where court-involved youths are required to read, THE PACT:  Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream (Davis, Jenkins and Hunt) and complete one or more essays, art or poetry assignments. The goal is to inspire youths to set higher standards, follow their dreams, associate with positive peers, make the right choices, and never give up.  It is anticipated that at least 100 Burlington County youths will participate in this program this year.

Judge Suter said “I am proud of the work of our committee to date, and we look forward to continue working with the community to ensure equal access and equal justice for all.”  Suter further commented, “We need additional Burlington County community participation in our effort to accomplish our goals.”

Members of the community and business leaders interested in joining the committee or looking for additional information should call the court administrator's office at 609-518-2640.

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