District Court pilot program aims to speed turnaround time of court cases
Caroline MacGregor February 18, 2014 | WGVU Kent County
commissioners plan to use a $33 thousand state grant to fund a pilot
project to increase the number of court appointed attorneys for low income or
indigent misdemeanor defendants at their first court appearance.
The idea is to
see if early intervention would help cut down on court appearances and save
As it stands, the
court allows counsel only after the defendant’s first appearance.
Administrator for Kent County's 63rd district Court, says meeting with a Public
Defender before arraignments could help eliminate future hearings, save
taxpayers money, and free up staff to attend to other matters.
“might resolve it sooner”
is scheduled to start in March. An attorney will be available for an extra half
day each week for misdemeanor arraignments and to provide counsel 7 days a week
to defendants being arraigned by video.
will be re-evaluated in September with cases tracked to see if it proves more
efficient than the current system.
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