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Erie County District Attorney's Office organizes implicit bias training course

Posted at 11:11 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 11:11:08-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — An implicit bias training course has been organized by the Erie County District Attorneys Office for all prosecutors and confidential criminal investigators in its office as well as public defenders from the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo.

An in-person implicit bias training was scheduled for May 20, 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19. The course will be held virtually Wednesday by Buffalo City Court Judge Hon. Lenora Foote-Beavers.

"Implicit biases are unconscious and unintentional judgments based on stereotypes and past experiences, which can affect a person’s behavior and perpetuate discrimination based upon race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age or disability," the DA's office said.

Topics the training may include are:

  • Implicit and explicit bias.
  • Equal access to justice.
  • Serving a diverse population.
  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal profession.
  • Sensitivity to cultural and other differences when interacting with members of the public, judges, jurors, litigants, attorneys and court personnel.

In New York State experienced attorneys must complete 24 credit hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) every 2 years. As of January 2018, it was required that one credit hour focus on diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias.

“I continue to support any continuing education for prosecutors in my office. I believe this is the most important training to ensure that all people accused of a crime, no matter their race, gender, age, or identity, are prosecuted fairly,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.