Honored to have my first official publication. I wrote this article in January for the ABA Section of Litigation. I was notified this week that it was chosen for their Access to Justice, Spring 2014 Newsletter. Editor’s note – “If you should ever want to publish with us again, please let me know. Your work was great!” Truly humbled by the gesture and looking forward to continuing to write, as well as develop more complex pieces in the future.
Access to Justice
In March of 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an Access to Justice Initiative (ATJ). The mission of the ATJ is to help the justice system efficiently deliver outcomes that are fair and accessible to all, irrespective of wealth and status. The ATJ is guided by three principles: “(1) Promoting Accessibility—eliminating barriers that prevent people from understanding and exercising their rights; (2) Ensuring Fairness—delivering fair and just outcomes for all parties, including those facing financial and other disadvantages; (3) Increasing Efficiency—delivering fair and just outcomes effectively, without waste or duplication.” It should also be noted that the ATJ also includes “collaboration between the DOL [Department of Labor] and the American Bar Association (ABA) to help workers resolve wage and hour complaints” under which “if the DOL can’t resolve a worker’s complaint because of limited capacity, the Department will furnish the complainant with a toll-free number which will connect them with a participating ABA-approved attorney referral provider in their area.”
Crime and Literacy
While the connection between crime and literacy may not be readily apparent, literacy does play a role in crime. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, up to ‘“70% of the incarcerated population is believed to be illiterate in some jurisdictions’ (1999). Many criminals end up in prison because they do not have the literacy skills, the proper education, or the life skills to make it in life the way law-abiding citizens do.” Literacy programs and other initiatives that aim to reduce crime minimize the need for access to justice.
The stressful lifestyle and hectic schedule of practicing lawyers are well documented. There is always more reading, research, or writing to complete, but no assignment can compare to the positive impact of reading to our children. Under constant pressure, we often lose sight of what is truly important, those small gestures that make a huge difference in other people’s lives. The purpose of our profession at heart, after all, is to help create a better living situation for everyone.
To read the article and its entirety see, Reading Aloud to Children and Its Impact on Literacy and Crime