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Saturday, March 19, 2011

County Considering Specialty Courts

Judge Minor At Coudersport Chamber Meeting


Potter County is considering adopting a “specialty court” system
according to President Judge Stephen Minor who spoke at the Coudersport Area Chamber of Commerce this past Tuesday.

The judge said officials are looking at ways to reduce recidivism, and ultimately court costs and specialty courts might help to do that. Because a large proportion of criminal defendants coming before the court are suffering from mental health issues, substance abuse histories, or both, there’s a growing awareness that punishment fails to address those factors frequently results in costly recidivism.

Judge Minor said officials are looking at a drug and alcohol court and a mental health court and the defendants would not be violent criminals. He said the defendants would actually have more interaction with the court, perhaps reporting in as often as once a week.

The Judge said ultimately the court “wants to help people.” District Attorney Andy Watson is heading up a committee that is looking into some of the options. Other members of the county’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board are also involved. More local & regional news.....


Anonymous said...

Will these people be given a second chance at jobs, housing, etc? "Others" that serve regular jail time are not.

Anonymous said...

They can't control the way society views people with criminal records, but it would be interesting to see if part of this will reduce what is seen on a criminal history check. Sounds like a bigger scope for the ARD program.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking follow the money and you will find out why they want this. I bet there is a lot of money to be made by court ordered "help" for people.

I wonder what business interests of the people and associates that are involved in creating this stand to gain from the creation of this "help" system.

Isn't it a courts place to decide right from wrong when someone is accused of something staying as close to black and white as possible following the rule of law? Does the rule of law specify dishing out "help" to people whether they want it or not? Well, I guess it could if they changed the laws.

Did they start working on the new drug task force so it is in place to funnel the new captive customers into the "help" system once it is established?

This would be a good time to implement sketchy stuff under the radar with everyones attention on the gas drilling.

I don't know the answers to these questions they are just possibilities to think about. Maybe someone with more interest in the subject will look into it. I just have a hard time believeing that it will help the people going through the system.

Anonymous said...

10:11 -- beware! The Paranoids are after you!
My God, how can you be so cynical. This makes a whole lot of sense for a whole lot of reasons but one of them is not somebody's personal financial gain.
Every once in a while people do something because it's the right thing to do and/or it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

If they would sentence these people to State Prison and not our local hotel, we would see less of them back in court. Get real and put these people away.

Anonymous said...

"My God, how can you be so cynical. This makes a whole lot of sense for a whole lot of reasons but one of them is not somebody's personal financial gain."

Yeah, because nothing like that ever happens right?

Bobby said...

10:11 you are an idiot

Anonymous said...

10:11--Do you have a working knowlege of the ARD program or social work programs in general? How in the WORLD can you accuse "help" system of being greedy when they get almost NO support from, well, anyone. They work a completely thankless job and you aim to belittle them?

I like this idea if it does put some business into the "help" system. And no, I'm not a counselor or in the system.

Anonymous said...

there is never an easy answer to socially induced criminal activity. I think we have gotten to wishy washy in our country. If you do wrong, you need to be punished. If you kill someone -- capital punishment/death sentence. If you do drugs - you get put away for awhile. Perhaps we would have a lot less crime which in turn REDUCES COSTS to the rest of the tax payers. There are no longer any severe consequences for people's actions, no one has to be responsible cause they got addicted to drugs, etc. I don't buy it. It is BS and instead we need to make harsher rules/laws which would make an individual think twice about committing the crime in the first place! Novel idea.

Anonymous said...

No, 10:11:00 PM is spouting the current cause d'etre of stripping any and all social assistance programs from the government.

His platitudes reflect the complete lack of critical thought going into this position and the rejection of any evidence showing the efficacy of such programs as liberal propaganda.

10:11:00 PM is a closed minded tool, good luck convincing him that programs like these work.

Anonymous said...

This is Susan Kefover's plan. She has been working on this since she took office. And, the most interesting fact is that all of them boast that it will not cost the taxpayers anything. This little back door project didn't work in Emporium - and it certainly will not work here. I don't care if Judge Leete, Minor or whoever endorses it - people of Potter County watch your backs and pocketbooks!!

Solomon's words for the wise said...

It cost taxpayers an average of $32,500. a year to incarcerate a prisoner in 2009. Pennsylvania has 3 new prisons in construction or planned. Someone surely should be watching our wallets and coming up with a better solution than throwing people away in prison and throwing away the key. My hat is off to Susan if she is the one who got the ball rolling on this program idea.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment from 3:11 and I can tell you that this is not about anyone taking credit for this but it is about doing the right thing and doing whats smart and economic. Kudoses and dildines to everyone who is involved in this inovative thinking.