The U.S. Department of Justice called for local court reforms of interpreter services

The U.S. De­part­ment of Justice last year con­cluded that L.A. County’s court and the state’s Ju­di­cial Coun­cil need to do more for lit­ig­ants with lim­ited Eng­lish-lan­guage skills. Free lan­guage ser­vices must be made avail­able in all court pro­ceed­ings, fed­er­al of­fi­cials said. The in­vest­ig­a­tion found that Los Angeles courts were al­low­ing fam­ily and friends to in­ter­pret without judging their com­pet­ence to do so, and that the state had about $8 mil­lion in un­spent funds al­loc­ated for trans­lat­ors that “could have been used to cov­er thou­sands of hours of in­ter­pret­er ser­vices without cost.”