OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Chief Justice Saufley, Katrina Baum and State Court Administrator Ted Glessner
Katrina Baum, of Kennebunk, was awarded the Judicial Branch Volunteer of the year Award awarded to that person who, in a voluntary capacity, assists the Judicial Branch in fulfilling its mission of administering justice by providing an accessible, efficient and impartial system of dispute resolution. Katrina has worked three days a week, since graduating from college in June. She has compiled 5 years of statistics regarding limited English proficiency (LEP) in the courts, as well as updating a 2003 Americans with Disabilities Act survey. Her efforts in tracking LEP services and assisting in providing accommodations to the disabled have helped the Branch in fulfilling its mission in providing an accessible, efficient, and impartial system of dispute resolution
Maine Volunteers for Justice
The Judicial Branch has a statewide volunteer program called Maine Volunteers for Justice that engages volunteers within the court system in a variety of ways. Our mission is three-fold: to increase public access to justice; to support the efficiency of the courts; and to promote better public understanding of Maine's judicial system and the judicial process. This program is managed by the AOC Human Resources Department.
We work with individual volunteers of various backgrounds who step forward to find meaningful activity in service with the Judicial Branch. These opportunities include skilled and unskilled clerical work; information booth assistance; jury management; courtroom assistance; electronic recording using a tape-recorder and standardized log; and special projects ranging from assistance with media and publications to data analysis. Law school students may volunteer as law clerks. We also collaborate with institutions, such as colleges, universities, and law schools to create service and internship opportunities with specific educational value. Other opportunities include enlisting service groups for large projects such as archiving closed files and recruiting service groups, from University Extension Homemakers, to fraternities, sororities, and religious education classes of all denominations, to help us provide local courts with KiddieDitty bags, which are small gifts of crayons, paper, and toys, to help children waiting in the hallways pass the time more comfortably.
With the exception of KiddieDitty bags, which are needed in all courts, needs and opportunities vary from court to court and volunteer to volunteer. The volunteer and the volunteer supervisor agree on a mutually beneficial opportunity, as well as the time commitment necessary.
Opportunities may start with as few as four hours per week. We currently have 25 volunteers located in 12 courthouses around the state, as well as numerous groups who prepare KiddieDitty bags. Potential volunteers must go through an application and background check process prior to being referred for the interview and selection process.