Arizona activists are working to hold the criminal justice system accountable through court watching. Court watching is a practice in which volunteers observe court proceedings in order to monitor the fairness and impartiality of the justice system.
One organization that is active in court watching in Arizona is Mass Liberation Arizona. Mass Liberation Arizona is a grassroots organization that works to end mass incarceration and the liberation of marginalized communities. The group’s work focuses on prosecutorial misconduct, police brutality, and alternatives to incarceration. One way Mass Liberation Arizona brings awareness to these issues is through court watching, according to Aguilar. “These things happen behind closed doors, and there’s a whole different language that is spoken in those rooms,” Aguilar said.
Court watchers attend court hearings and take notes on what they observe. They then share their observations with the public and with other activists. This information can be used to identify potential problems in the justice system and to hold judges and prosecutors accountable.
In addition to monitoring court proceedings, court watchers also provide support to defendants and their families. They can help defendants to understand the legal process and to connect with resources. They can also provide moral support to defendants and their families during a difficult time.
Court watching is a valuable tool for holding the criminal justice system accountable. By observing court proceedings and sharing their observations, court watchers can help to ensure that the justice system is fair and impartial.
Here are some of the benefits of court watching:
- Increases transparency and accountability in the justice system.
- Helps to identify potential problems in the justice system.
- Provides support to defendants and their families.
- Raises awareness about the criminal justice system.
If you are interested in becoming a court watcher, there are a number of organizations that can provide you with training and resources.