Source: (2002) Fordham Urban Law Journal. 29: 1281.

Certain recent surveys have found a distinct lack of public confidence in the court system. Lack of equal access to the justice system has significantly contributed to this decline in public trust. Barriers to access can result from geography, language, culture, and poverty. In view of this, Tina Rasnow looks at what services a court can provide to ensure equal access, and how the expanded role of courts affects issues of impartiality, independence, and public trust in the judicial system. She focuses on one Southern California court’s attempt to provide greater access to under-represented litigants in Ventura County, a mixed urban and rural area. In particular, she examines the Ventura County Superior Court program designed to increase court access through pro se self-help services, educational outreach, specialty courts, and collaboration with social service organizations.