The State of Indiana provides court services to a wide range of people, including those who speak limited or no English and those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Limited English proficiency (LEP) means the inability to adequately understand or communicate effectively in English. According to the latest census data, there are about 200,000 Hoosiers who are LEP. These individuals most likely will request a court interpreter in their native language to provide interpreting services during court proceedings.
Since 2002, the Court Interpreter Certification Program has improved the quality and increased the number of court interpreters available to work in Indiana courts. The state currently has 156 certified/qualified interpreters. The Language Access Advisory Committee provides guidance to the program and developed the Indiana judicial branch’s Language Access Plan. The Indiana Supreme Court also has provided every court in Indiana with a telephone interpretation service called Language Line for emergency use, that can interpret in over 250 different languages.
The Indiana Office of Judicial Administration (IOJA) continues to develop policies, best practices, and implementing training for judges, attorneys, and court managers. This will create an environment where everyone involved knows the role and function of an interpreter and the proper manner to conduct interpreted proceedings in the courtroom.