Indianapolis Star

Letter to the Editor

April 29, 2003
New justice center is long overdue

As a practicing attorney and past president of the Indianapolis Bar Association, I commend The Star for its coverage of the jail overcrowding crisis in Marion County. As your stories have noted, the jail problems are but one symptom of systemic underfunding of local justice issues.

An equally critical problem is the unsafe, inadequate and unjust court facilities in which the public's judicial business is conducted. The City-County Building is functional as a government office complex, but it was never designed for criminal and civil justice demands of the 21st century. The public is put at great risk every day in this antiquated and unsafe courts facility.

The Indianapolis and Marion County bar associations are working hard through their Justice Center Task Force to bring about the construction of a safe and adequate justice center. It is long past time for the nation's 13th largest city to remedy its jail and courthouse problem. Financing for a new justice center can be done through enhanced filing and user fees, without any tax increase. In this election season, we encourage all local candidates to support this important public safety initiative.

John Maley