You will need to have headings and separate paragraphs for each of the following 5 prompts below:
Because you may need to watch more than 1 case to meet the 4 hour observation requirement, please note the bolded text that indicates which cases to include for each of the 5 prompts.
1. Description of Cases
All Cases Observed
Utilize the following formatting to describe the cases observed:
Court Case Name:
Presiding Judge(s) or Jury:
Type of Proceeding:
Brief explanation of case: a basic summary of what occurred and the status and outcome of the case (resolved, dismissed, continued, set for trial, etc.)
2. People and Proceedings
Select the most interesting case:
The people involved: judges, lawyers, other employees, parties, and other observers
who said what, what was the outcome
how did people behave, what did they say?
Provide a thorough and detailed description (not simple conclusions) of the court observation, so that the reader can picture what you observed. (EXAMPLE: Do not say the defendants did not understand the process. Rather, provide observations that led you to that conclusion. )
Choose 3 of the following questions to answer (copy and paste the question into your paper):
Some courts are more formal than others. What was the “culture” of the court you visited/viewed? How did people (litigants, attorneys, staff, judge, others) dress and behave?
Did the proceeding seem more focused on attention to individual cases or the work flow and schedule of the court? Did hearings start on time? Did each case have an individual hearing time, or were multiple cases set for the same time?
Did individuals appear to understand the proceedings? What led you to that conclusion?
Were they represented by an attorney?If so, how did the client and attorney interact?
If some had an attorney and others did not, did representation appear to affect outcome?
Did litigants have any non-attorney support?
If a party had a need for a language other than English or a disability related accommodation, how effectively were they met?
How does the racial, ethnic, class and gender composition of the individuals in court compare with the larger community in which the court was held?
Did any of the issues social workers address seem to influence who appeared in court?
Did any of the issues social workers address seem to influence how individuals responded to the legal proceedings?
Did the proceedings seem fair and just?
3. Intersection of Social Work and the Courts
Select a case where there is a clear connection to social work:
Identify themes or issues relating to the intersection of social work and courts. You must cite at least 2 of the course required readings.
Collective Cases (considering all of the cases observed)
Based on your observations, are there any suggestions for changes you would make?
Were there issues you thought could be better addressed in a different setting?
Suggestions were substantiated by at least 1 cited piece of research or course content.
5. Personal Reflection
Provide a thoughtful personal reflection on the observation.
The focus should be on your observations, thoughts and feelings on the proceedings and their connections with social work practice and the larger society.
I provided the links where I’m supposed to find the court cases.
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