The Nov. 3 column by Leonard Pitts Jr., Why we see ‘them’ as a threat, contained many important insights about implicit bias in our society and how that can affect the legal system.
Everyone, even the best intentioned of people, has unconscious preconceptions that can influence the way we make decisions. Awareness of these biases is the first step toward combating the deleterious effects that can result.
Pitts calls for training for police officers. That is a positive step, but more needs to be done. As part of its Diversity & Inclusion 360 Commission, the American Bar Association is creating educational and other resource materials on implicit bias, including training videos and manuals for judges, prosecutors and public defenders. These will help ensure that all lawmakers understand the existence of implicit bias in the justice system, a recognition that should help lead us to a fairer society.
Paulette Brown, president, American Bar Association, Chicago