attitude that domestic violence is a family matter, custody decisions that assume all mothers are better child care givers than fathers, and the belief that a female witness is less credible than a male witness. Individual behaviors such as telling jokes that demean women and addressing women in the courtroom by first name while addressing men by title and surname also reflect gender bias. The Supreme Court in United States v. DeGross (960 F.2d 1433, 1438, 9th Cir.1992) stated, "[G]ender discrimination in the judicial system [is] a stimulant to community prejudice which impedes equal justice for women."

This session dealt with a look at how individuals involved in the criminal justice system view their respective roles as they relate to the dynamics of a multi cultural society. The session included a multimedia presentation incorporating the use of music, video vignettes, numerous interactive

activities, games, and exercises, handouts and overhead presentation of information and an open discussion with question/ answer format. The session involved extensive audience participation, but only so far as they chose to voluntarily participate.

cleardot.gif (886 bytes) Most exercises provided an opportunity for all members of the audience to be as interactive as they desired. The materials and video vignettes addressed the issues of cultural disparity and possible conflicts as they might occur at any point in the criminal justice system. Situations involving criminal arrest, detention, intake, disposition and placement were examined. The responsibilities and roles of judges, attorneys, probation officers, and law enforcement officials were discussed, especially as they relate to the individuals present.

The session began by targeting the particular issues, relevant to the topic, that the participants wanted to address and why they chose to attend this session and the conference as a whole. As the activities unfolded, the final portion of the session revisited those same target issues to examine what tools, techniques or practices discussed and shared could be assimilated and used effectively by the participants in their respective jobs. A sample of the issues targeted were:

  • Stereotypes that we consciously/unconsciously observe.
  • Prejudgments
  • Unfair treatment
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  • What decisions are you making?
  • What factors do you consider?
  • What techniques do you use?
  • How can we prevent these negative aspects from affecting our jobs/lives?
  • Fears that our own family/friends may be affected.
  • How do we effectively educate and promote cultural awareness and treatment of all? and
  • What can we do to be more culturally sensitive, professionally and personally?

Education's Impact on Minority Youth Over-Representation

The panel for this session included Brian Bumbarger, Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University; Dr. Josephine Pete, Phoenix Union High School District (Phoenix, AZ); and Yolanda Olbarria, Dysart Unified School District (El Mirage, AZ).

Presenters covered the extent of disparity in the discipline of minority students; the political and legislative climate driving the increase in punitive and exclusionary discipline measures; the relationship between the education and

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