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Cortland Legislators Ask Tompkins County For Input On Criminal Justice Coordinator

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Cortland County’s Criminal Justice Proposal Committee meets at 3:00 this afternoon (September 11), where they’ll continue their discussion around the possibility of hiring a criminal justice coordinator.

That will include a presentation from Tompkins County Criminal Justice Coordinator David Sanders on the potential benefits of hiring a similar position here in Cortland County, along with how that might be implemented.

The creation of such a position was one of the primary recommendations made to Cortland County in a July 2019 report conducted by CRS, Inc, which had an overall goal of reducing the overpopulated Cortland County Jail and assessing its general needs into the future.

Another recommendation in that report was the development of a centralized arraignment process, which is seeing some progress and could have initial proposals in the hands of Legislators sometime later this fall, according to JPS Chair Michael Barylski at last month’s legislative session. See more on that here.

CJPC members will also have a Q & A session with Mr. Sanders to inquire about how Tompkins County approaches some of the similar challenges that both criminal justice systems experience.

One of those being revisited today is the continuing conversation around the state’s recently-passed bail reform legislation.

Once implemented in 2020, the new laws will abolish cash bail and pre-trial detention, while overhauling regulations on the sharing of evidence and strengthening defendants’ right to a speedy trial.

These changes will inevitably cause more swelling at Cortland and other County Jails across the state, which already face a growing problem of overcrowding.

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