Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness

Supreme Court of Missouri
Post Office Box 150
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-4144

The Supreme Court of Missouri created its commission on racial and ethnic fairness by order dated October 6, 2015. The commission will focus its study on six areas – the judicial system generally, the civil justice system, the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system, the municipal justice system and the practice of law – to identify solutions and make recommendations for improvement. Together, the commission members will engage with the public in examining and reviewing current practices and recommending measures to help assure fairness, impartiality, equal access and full participation for racial and ethnic minorities in the judicial process and in the practice of law.

Announcing the commission during an address to lawyers and judges at a joint annual meeting, then-Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge said: "We all need to do everything we can to ensure that every individual in every case in our system of justice is treated with respect and has his or her case adjudicated fairly and impartially according to the law."

The commission currently is holding a series of community feedback forums about juvenile justice:

The commission is planning future juvenile justice events for Cape Girardeau and Kansas City.

It also held a series of general public feedback sessions throughout the state:
  • February 16, 2017, in Columbia
  • February 28, 2017, in Kansas City
  • March 7, 2017, in St. Louis
  • March 14, 2017, in Springfield

The commission has met three times.

  • November 17, 2015
  • June 21, 2016
  • December 8, 2016
The commission has developed an initial outline of recommendations and expects to file a formal report in 2017.