City Council approves adding bailiffs to district court

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - During their Tuesday meeting, the Jonesboro City County tackled an issue of great concern to district court judges: safety.

Following several incidents during court proceedings, Craighead County District Court Judges Tommy Fowler and David Boling have worked months to get full-time bailiffs added to their courtrooms.

They proposed the idea in April to the Quorum Court, but a lack of funding prevented the issue from advancing.

Recently, the district court added extra cases, including several that were at risk of being tossed out due to a lack of a speedy trial. Many were Class D felonies, but the district court judges allowed the defendants to plead to Class A misdemeanor charges to move the cases through the system.

While the court does not make any money, Fowler said their decision brought in about $500,000 in funding for the courts.

“By taking on these cases, Judge Boling and I have created an avenue then for the city to be able to justify hiring two full-time people for us,” said Fowler.

After hearing from Fowler, the city council unanimously approved a consent agenda adding three police officer positions. Two will be assigned to the district court, the third will work at the city hall.

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