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Digital Court Recording Training Program in The Bahamas & Launch of Policies and Procedures Manual

Between April 10 – April 22, 2023, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), implementer of the Caribbean Anti-Crime Program, visited The Bahamas to conduct trainings associated with the Digital Court Recording (DCR) project. Over a period of two weeks, NCSC conducted training sessions on Fundamentals of For The Record, Part II of the Train the Trainers program; one-on-one Courtroom Mentoring, Best Practices for Attorneys, and hosted a Discussion Panel for court reporters, judicial officers, and administrators.

The program trained and mentored 150 participants comprised of court clerks, secretaries, registrars, administrators, judges, and magistrates from the Supreme Court and Magistrates Court in Nassau and Freeport, as well as attorneys. Each session was designed to build the Judiciary of The Bahamas’ capacity to operate the system, develop local trainers, produce internal resources, promote best practices in the courtroom and gain expertise to continue the future success of the system.

The DCR Discussion Panels, held separately for judicial officers, administrators, supervisors, and court reporters featured Jean Dexter, the Manager of Court Reporting Services from the 9th Judicial Circuit in Orlando, Florida and Melissa Sotillo, Director of Administrative Services for the 15th Judicial Circuit in Florida. Topics included practices and procedures for creating and storing court records, providing transcripts and recordings, hiring and training, and staffing schedules in various jurisdictions throughout the U.S. These sessions provided an opportunity for participants to provide feedback on the judiciary’s current needs, as well as generate ideas to address inefficiencies.

On Friday, April 21st, the training culminated with the official relaunch of the DCR project, broadcasted to local news and live-streamed on social media. NCSC Senior Program Manager JoAnne Richardson, the Hon. Chief Justice Ian Winder, former Hon. Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree, U.S. Embassy Nassau INL Director Bridget Premont, FTR Product Manager Adoit Pradhan, and Deputy Registrar Renaldo Toote gave remarks. The event was attended by judges, magistrates, ministers, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and other justice sector officials. A video summarizing the project’s achievements, produced by NCSC, was played at the event.

The Judiciary plans to install DCR technology in all Supreme Court civil courtrooms, and fully utilize the Speech-to-Text technology by mid-June 2023. NCSC will continue to virtually support The Judiciary of The Bahamas in the implementation of Digital Court Recording until August 31, 2023.

NCSC Digital Court Recording Advisor, Ken Cook, conducting Part II of the Train the Trainers workshop on Tuesday, April 11th.

The Hon. Chief Justice Ian Winder, former Chief Justice Moree, and Deputy Registrar Renaldo Toote with members of NCSC, U.S. Embassy Nassau, and For The Record at the Official Launch of the DCR System on Friday, April 21st.

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