When reflecting on her long and distinguished career, Hennepin County District Court Judge Pamela Alexander points to serving on two committees as highlights of her work to improve the judicial system.
Alexander helped create the Hennepin County District Court’s Equal Justice Committee in 1990s and held many leadership roles in it over the years. She also was on the committee that produced the groundbreaking Racial Bias Task Force Report, a 1993 document that made 87 recommendations.
Key to her committee work has been the collection of racial data, which before the task force was not required by the court system. Now every county must report race data, and its collection is considered in a court’s performance metrics, Alexander said.
“We’ve used the data we collected to redo pretrial release instruments to look at bail and to make sure we’re not looking at race as a factor when it doesn’t need to be,” she said. “We’ve made a ton of improvements in Hennepin County based on data.”
The challenge has been in keeping new judges current on changes the county has instituted, a laborious task when turnover has been as high as it is today, Alexander said.
The judge, who is retiring this year, has received more than 50 community service awards and served on several community boards and judicial committees.
“I’ve served a nice long time,” Alexander said. “It’s time to do some other things. I’ve certainly enjoyed it. There is no better job.”