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Archive for Sunday, August 29, 1999

COURTROOM IN JAIL WILL REDUCE NEED FOR TRANSPORTATION

August 29, 1999

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A modern, aesthetically pleasing courtroom awaits inmates at the new Douglas County Jail.

From its dome to its furniture, the courtroom incorporates design elements found throughout the $22 million jail.

But the courtroom's not just for looks.

Officials will use it for inmates' first appearances and other court procedures -- all part of an effort to cut down on driving inmates downtown.

Just as they do now, Douglas County District Court judges will take turns presiding over first appearances, during which inmates hear the charges against them and learn the bond amounts they face. Once video equipment is installed at a later date, judges will be able to conduct arraignments without leaving the downtown judicial center at 111 E. 11th.

The courtroom also includes 12 chairs for a jury. Trials with high security risks might be held at the new jail, Sheriff Loren Anderson said.

A wall of glass separates the public from inmates in the courtroom at the jail. Courtrooms at the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center don't offer such protection.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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