NC REN attorneys participated in intensive trainings at the School of Government focused on how issues of race may affect various stages of a criminal proceeding and how attorneys may address these issues.
Training topics included police investigations, pretrial release, composition of jury pools and juries, eyewitness identifications, charging decisions, and sentencing. Attorneys received instruction on relevant legal authority, obtaining data to support claims, and practice strategies.
NC REN goals:
• Build a dynamic network comprised of new and experienced indigent defense attorneys and other advocates representing the geographic, racial, and ethnic diversity of North Carolina;
• Improve NC REN members’ ability to recognize and analyze issues of race that may arise in individual cases and in structural elements of the justice system;
• Increase NC REN attorneys’ capacity to raise issues of race in their own cases; spur meritorious claims in other criminal cases through support and mentoring of other indigent defenders; and exercise leadership in collaborative efforts at the local level with other court actors;
• Train NC REN attorneys on the communication and leadership skills needed to deal with sensitive issues of race in their local court systems and communities;
• Inspire North Carolina criminal justice stakeholders to examine and address potential causes of racial disparities in the criminal justice system; and develop trainings for other court actors seeking guidance on addressing issues of race and bias in their work.
• Support NC REN working groups addressing local issues relating to race, bias, and equity within North Carolina counties and regions.