Model Court Judge Louis Trosch uses NCJFCJ Benchcard in Courtroom

February 13, 2012

In an article published by the Fayetteville Observer, NCJFCJ Board of Trustees member and former Charlotte Model Court Lead Judge Louis Trosch testified recently about how he works to prevent racial bias in his courtroom. Judge Trosch was called as a witness by lawyers in North Carolina’s first Racial Justice Act hearing. Lawyers for a death row inmate presented evidence to show that racism influenced jury selection in the 1994 trial.  Judge Trosch displayed his copy of the NCJFCJ’s Courts Catalyzing Change (CCC) Benchcard to the court and shared that he uses the Benchcard to help himself avoid bias in decision-making in his courtroom.  Judge Trosch noted that he did not think he was susceptible to racial bias until participating in a training on power, privilege, and racism. “After those two days, I realized that my way of thinking, and the privileges I had had growing up, shaped a lot of how I viewed the world and how I viewed other people.”The NCJFCJ’s CCC Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard asks judges to reflect on their decision-making processes in order to mitigate the effects of institutional bias and to make key inquiries, analyses, and decisions relating to child removal, placement, and services for children and families. The CCC initiative is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort to develop and implement strategies to reduce the disproportionate representation of children of color and the disparate treatment experienced by the child and families in the child welfare system.

To view the article featuring Judge Trosch’s testimony, click here.

To learn more about Courts Catalyzing Change and to download the Benchcard, click here.