State Justice Institute Board
Isabel Framer is the founder and principal partner of Language Access Consultants, LLC. Since 1998, Ms. Framer has worked as a consultant to defense attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement, state and federal government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, and advocacy firms on language access for Limited English Proficient persons in the court system. She is a state court-certified judiciary interpreter and has been qualified as an expert witness in court proceedings regarding language access and interpreter standards. Ms. Framer is well known for her advocacy on behalf of people who have been denied their civil rights under Title VI, possibly the least known but most powerful section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that states, “A person with limited or no ability to speak or understand English is guaranteed free, “meaningful” access to language assistance wherever medical outlets and law enforcement receive federal funding.” This was particularly visible when she filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice against the Lake Worth Police and Sheriff’s departments, and the Palm Beach Circuit court in the case of Petrona Tomas, a Guatemalan underage teenager wrongly charged, due entirely to interpreter errors, with the first degree murder of the 2.8 pound premature infant child she delivered on a bathroom floor. Petrona was imprisoned in a jail for adults for a year and a half while awaiting trial and faced life imprisonment although it was clear she received neither medical nor legal communication in a language she spoke or understood.
In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Framer, also confirmed by the Senate, to the State Justice Institute (SJI) Board, which was established by Federal Law in 1984 to improve the quality of justice in State courts, facilitate better coordination between State and Federal courts, and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts. She has served on several boards and advisory committees, including the Supreme Court of Ohio's Advisory Committee on Interpreter Services, the Ohio Judicial Appointments Recommendation Panel, and the Racial Fairness Project in Cleveland. Ms. Framer was also a board member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and served as its chair from 2007 to 2009. From 2004 to 2006, she co-chaired the Summit/Lorain Law Enforcement project, the first national project of its kind to create interpretation and translation models and best practices for law enforcement, public officials, judiciary interpreters, and national defense advocates. She is also a lead consultant for the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, helping to train attorneys and advocates on interpretation issues for domestic violence victims.
Among articles published in the Proteus and legal journals, she authored Through the Eyes of an Interpreter, Interpreters and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System: The Alejandro Ramirez Case, Interpreters as Officers of the Court: Scope and Limitations of Practice and Interpreting, & The Interpreter: What Every LAV Attorney & Advocate Needs To Know About Legal Interpretation. She is lead author of the Language of Justice, a training curriculum for interpreters working for legal services. She currently serves on the Ohio Commission on Latino Affairs.
Ms. Framer will deliver this year’s Keynote address titled, Injustice Anywhere, is a Threat to Justice Everywhere”, and the workshop, “Interpreters and their Impact on the Criminal Justice System.”
Dr. Celia Williamson
National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Dr. Celia Williamson is President and co-founder of the National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation. The purpose of the consortium, made up of scholars from around the country, is to collaborate in order to answer critical research questions in the area of commercial sexual exploitation and to move the knowledge base forward. Dr. Williamson received her BA in Social Work from the University of Toledo, her Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and her Ph.D. from Indiana University. After learning about the abuses suffered by those who were victims of human trafficking, Dr. Williamson devoted the next 18 years toward learning, researching, and developing responses to appropriately address it. Since receiving her degrees, Dr. Williamson has published over 25 research articles on the subject of prostitution and human trafficking. Because of her work in this area, she was awarded federal research grants and other funds to support the Second Chance program, a program she founded in 1993 in Toledo that works with victims of sex trafficking. This year Second Chance was recognized by the National FBI for their contributions in working to identify victims and reduce human trafficking.
As an activist and community organizer, in 2009 Dr. Williamson developed the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition. She facilitates these meetings with the goal of bringing systems together to understand, communicate and build protocols that will reduce the victimization of women and youth in Lucas County. Currently, the coalition meets with representation from over 25 agencies including criminal justice, social service, and health care agencies, along with businesses, university members, churches, citizens, and adult survivors. She was an active force in securing an FBI Innocence Lost Task Force in Lucas County to address the issue of rescuing children from the sex trade in Toledo. She has become a nationally known expert on the subject of prostitution and domestic trafficking and conducts presentations nationally and internationally. She organized and co-chaired seven National and International Conferences on Human Trafficking that brought together presenters from around the nation and world. Dr. Williamson has extensive experience building human trafficking coalitions, conducting research in the area of human trafficking, and has developed policies and protocols for safe houses for domestic minor victims. She regularly consults with interested others in various cities who want to address sex trafficking by building coalitions, conducting research, or developing safe houses. Additionally, she participates on the Attorney General’s Trafficking In Persons Study Commission and Chairs the Research and Analysis Subcommittee for the State of Ohio.
Dr. Williamson has appeared in several news articles and broadcast news segments speaking on the topic of human trafficking including an hour long special on ABC Primetime. She has worked with the FBI and been invited to a national roundtable hosted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. She has also given information regarding Ohio to the U.S. Review on Commercially Exploited Children in America in preparation for the Third World Congress.
Dr. Williamson will deliver a workshop on the Victims of Human Trafficking informing her audience on what they must know, and can do, to stop this devastating criminal enterprise.