Judge Robert Leonard

In an effort to promote impartiality within its legal system, Cobb County conducted an implicit bias training program for judges at all levels of the Cobb Judicial Circuit.

Conducted by Dr. Brian T. Marks of the National Training Institute on Race and Equity, and with Chief Justice Harold Melton of the Georgia Supreme Court in attendance, the program was intended to curtail bias and prejudice in judicial decision making.

Cobb Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Leonard, who organized the training, said Cobb is the first county in Georgia to implement such training for all of its judges.

“I think (the training) will help with confidence from the community in our courts,” Leonard told the MDJ in January. “With all the racial justice issues percolating around, I felt it was important to get that kind of training on our agenda. There hasn’t been any training like that in the state of Georgia on a statewide level.”

Marks served as an adviser under President Barack Obama on multiple White House initiatives focused on race and education, and has conducted over 2,000 such trainings with police chiefs and executives, the news release said.

“It is important for us to begin to understand and address the historic race issues affecting justice in the court system and this training was a great first step,” said Superior Court Judge Angela Brown.

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