NC To Tighten Court Interpreter Guidelines

State officials next month will begin cracking down on inefficiencies in the court interpreters system that went over budget by about 800-thousand dollars in fiscal 2005-2006.

Starting December first, interpreters will contract through the state and be subject to a uniform set of terms and conditions of employment. That will replace the existing system in which interpreters contract through courts in individual districts, which varying rules, conditions and oversight.

The Administrative Office of the Courts also will help handle duties such as the screening and discipline of interpreters, jobs now done by judges and court staff.

The administrative office for the past five years has strongly recommended that judges use certified interpreters to better guarantee proper translations of legal language and professionalism.

That has not happened largely because of a lack of certified interpreters and an increasing number of non-English speaking defendants.