Litigants With Diverse Needs

Queens County Criminal Court Training - February 2013

In February the Queens County Criminal Court's interpreters, judges, court analysts, clerks, and court attorneys participated in the fifth New York State Courts Access to Justice Program Poverty Simulation. The event took place in Queens Supreme Criminal Court's gorgeous hallway annex, which Supreme Court generously loaned for the occasion. These trainings give court personnel opportunities to work together in new ways by encouraging them to think outside the box. Divided up into family units, participants must complete tasks with limited resources based on national poverty levels. Each unit is composed randomly, therefore employees may be placed with someone they have never met or seen before. As with all Poverty Simulations, some employees approached the event with trepidation, however by the end of each day smiles abounded. It is hoped that granting staff an opportunity to interact in new ways will foster team building and create a more efficient and compassionate court community.


Comments from Participants

"I was able to get a better understanding of what our defendants have to go through in their daily lives."

"I think it was an eye opener to many of my co-workers. Life is just not that easy no matter what setting. Thank you."

"It showed how frustrating it was to be poor and to have to seek help from agencies that are not helpful."

"It was meaningful to learn about the details of the various aspects of life in poverty."

"It was a good reminder of what life is like for many who live in NYC."

"On the whole, I thought the event was worthwhile."