Judge Nan Nash proposing to build a hearing room at the county jail for arraignments and probation violation hearings. The reason? Costs, security concerns, and the second judicial court is running out of space.
I think that just leaves the victim out in the cold at the worst possible time in their life.
Victim's rights attorney, Bert Parnall, says requiring victims to travel to the metropolitan detention center West of town is a bad idea.
That the victim has to go all the way out to the jail where all these bad guys, including the bad guy that hurt them, that's very cruel, callous.
The District Attorney's office agrees. Writing in its letter to judge Nash, "Holding these hearings at the jail will deter the participation of victims and likely intimidate and frighten those who venture to travel out to the jail for these proceedings."
Another concern is staffing. The District Attorney's office says it's already understaffed and moving the hearings from here, at the county courthouse, 18 miles away to the Metropolitan Detention Center will make it impossible to staff all of the other hearings going on at the same time back at the courthouse. "These personnel would be required to spend hundreds of hours of precious time in travel alone to support this proposed change." Parnall also sees other logistical challenges.
Now we're going to have to require that, not only the police have to go there to testify in probation violations, probation officers will have to go out there, judges will have to go out there, attorneys will have to go out there, and the victims will have to go out there. We shouldn't have to accommodate the distance of the jail."
Victims being forced to travel to the county jail? Bert Parnall doesn't agree.
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