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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Supreme Court continues weighing future of Clark Co. Drug Court participants"

That is the headline to this long story today, reported by Charlie White in the Louisville courier Journal. Some quotes:

The drug-treatment program was suspended in mid-February by the Indiana Supreme Court following allegations of unlawful conduct by drug court staff and practices harmful to participants.

It’s the first suspension of any problem-solving court in Indiana since the state began certifying them 11 years ago, according to officials with the state’s high court.

“I have full trust in the Indiana Supreme Court to evaluate any unlawful conduct by Clark County judges, and expect the investigation will be carried out thoroughly,” state Sen. Jim Smith, R-Charlestown, said.

[The 60 current program] participants are waiting on state officials to decide whether they will get to complete the program under a temporary certification.

Sarah Kidwell, outreach coordinator for the state Supreme Court, said Monday that state officials will work with the county to address outstanding issues regarding participants who agreed to enter the drug-treatment program. * * *

Eight plaintiffs in a federal class-action suit filed last month are seeking monetary damages and a court injunction. The suit includes people who allege they were arrested or were subject to arrest by drug court workers with no arrest powers, incarcerated for more than 72 hours without hearings or other due process, or face the possibility of being in violation of drug court or probation through Judge Jerry Jacobi’s court.

On Friday, Jacobi transferred all drug court cases to fellow Clark Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael’s court, which is seeking temporary certification from the state to allow existing participants a chance to complete the program. * * *

Also on Friday, Jacobi and other Clark County officials who are listed as defendants in the federal suit were granted an extension to respond to the initial complaint. The response deadline is now April 10. * * *

While the Judicial Center evaluates the drug court, local residents can share complaints or concerns about potential wrongdoing in the Clark County court system by contacting the Judicial Qualifications Commission at (317) 232-4706 or going to www.in.gov/judiciary/jud-qual. All complaints and subsequent investigations are confidential.

ILB: See also this story from last Sunday in the News & Tribune.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 6, 2014 08:50 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts