City launches minority jury service campaign

December 2, 2012 by  

In response to the results of a study undertaken at the behest of the state’s Chief Judge that revealed a significant under-representation of African-Americans on regional juries, city, county and federal officials have cooperated to launch the ‘Jury Service Makes a Difference’ campaign. The announcement was made in mid-November via a press release from the City of Rochester.

The central message is that the integrity of the justice system relies on a jury pool that represents the larger community. The campaign emphasizes the twin obligations of civic duty and legal requirement to serve when called for jury duty.

The communications strategy, based around brochure and poster printing, public service announcements, and testimonials from African-Americans who have served on juries, is a product of collaboration between the Rochester City Council President, the Supervising Judges of the 7th Judicial District and the Rochester City Court, and the Monroe County Commissioner of Jurors. Additional support for the effort comes from a Speaker’s Bureau, which will undertake outreach to churches, schools, and other community organizations, explaining the particulars of jury duty and bringing the message home.

The launch of the campaign comes after six months of research and candid discussions with representatives of the area’s minority communities. Businesses, churches, civic groups and others are encouraged to hang posters and distribute literature related to the campaign. More information and materials are available by contacting Jury Commissioner Charles Perraud at 585.371.3834 and details of the announcement are posted on the City of Rochester website.