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Feds close review of Hawaii court system’s language access

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The U.S. Department of Justice says Hawaii’s court system has improved the way it serves people with limited English skills.

The department announced Tuesday it is closing its review of the Hawaii Judiciary’s Language Access Program. The department intervened in 2012 after receiving complaints about language assistance services provided by Hawaii’s state courts.

The department says Hawaii has made improvements including changing the way interpreters are assigned and launching informational webpages in each of the 14 most commonly used languages.

Hawaii Judiciary spokeswoman Tammy Mori says during the 2013 fiscal year, the courts provided interpreter services for more than 8,000 proceedings. She says finding qualified interpreters continues to be a challenge.

Mori notes Hawaii is fourth in the country for the amount of people who speak English as a second-language.

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