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The Third Branch

Wisconsin interpreter program recognized

Wisconsin tied for fourth in a ranking of states in providing support for people with limited English proficiency, according to findings of the National Center for Access to Justice, which compiles the Justice Index. The Justice Index is an online data resource intended to provide a picture of which states are following practices and providing resources necessary to make the legal system fair to everyone.

The Justice Index considers a variety of factors, such as the use of "certified interpreters" and the availability of court forms translated into languages other than English. Researchers also reviewed laws in each state and judiciary websites dedicated to access to the justice system for individuals with limited English proficiency.

Researchers collected data on the following questions: Does the state have a process in place to certify court interpreters? Is there a statute, rule, or other guidance document requiring the use of certified interpreters when such interpreters are available? Is there a statute, rule, or other guidance document requiring courts to provide interpreters for all criminal and civil court proceedings involving limited English proficient individuals? Do judges receive training in how to work with interpreters?

The data was gathered beginning in the fall of 2012 and continuing into the spring of 2013.

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