Immigration Newsletter

Friday, June 26, 2009

Study finds Immigration Judges can get burned out

Below is an excerpt and a link to an interesting study noted by Univ. of California at San Francisco --

“I am concerned that the stress and trauma in judges may make it hard for them to recognize trauma in the refugees whose cases come before them in the courtroom,” said Lustig. Lustig said that this can affect their future caseloads in one of two ways: they may become particularly lenient and grant asylum at a higher rate than they would otherwise, or they may just shut down and become desensitized to those applicants whose stories of persecution are genuine.

“Judges under this much stress may suffer from ‘compassion fatigue,’ in which they start to lose empathy for asylum applicants,” said study co-author Dana Leigh Marks, JD, President of the National Association of Immigration Judges. “This is the first time that the operations of the immigration courts have been evaluated by trained professionals who are qualified to compare the impact of judges’ working conditions with those of others in stressful jobs, like prison wardens and busy hospital doctors,” Marks said.

The survey gave respondents the opportunity to provide narrative responses on their working conditions. The narratives revealed that, in addition to the secondary traumatic stress the judges are suffering from the nature of the asylum seekers’ stories, the judges’ working conditions are contributing to high levels of job burnout.

To see more:

http://news.ucsf.edu/releases/stress-and-burnout-found-among-nations-immigration-judges/