April 20, 2015

Citizen's CourtWatch - Holding our Court System Accountable

At the recent Virginia Highland public safety meeting with APD command staff, Assistant Chief Shawn Jones told us that a large part of the crime problem is recidivism. In a sample study conducted by APD and other agencies of 461 defendants, they found that collectively over their lifetime these individuals had committed 1500 crimes. This can be attributed to many problems including lenient sentencing, poorly prepared cases, plea bargains to minimize court time, early paroles, etc.  One of the questions asked was how citizens can become involved to help address that problem.

Part of the answer is Citizen's CourtWatch. Some of you may be very familiar with this program, and others may have never heard of it. Unfortunately for some time our zone six has been without a strong CourtWatch Coordinator. However, The Fulton Country District Attorney's Office has assigned a new coordinator in the Community Prosecution Division for Zone Six.

Danielle Simpson, JD is now on board and actively working to rebuild the program by recruiting new citizen participants, educating them about the court system, and coordinating participation in court hearings, trials, and sentencing. It is by showing up in court and letting judges know the concerns of the community that we can take an active role in getting some of these repeat offenders off the street. Alongside Keith Lamar, our Zone 6 community prosecutor, Ms. Simpson is eager to hear from you. Below are images of a brochure with more information, or simply contact her via email [email protected].




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