Wheels Of Justice Turning Faster In George County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/05/05

Wheels Of Justice Turning Faster In George County

The wheels of justice are turning a little more quickly now that the new George County Justice Court building is up and running. An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held this week. Court staff say the new building has improved efficiency in the court system.

Hilda Rouse has worked for the George County Justice Court since it was founded in 1984 and located inside the old county courthouse.

"That's where we started off, in the basement, under the jail," said Rouse.

Then in 1988 the county built a separate justice court building. It was more modern, but not much bigger. The building contained several small offices, a small lobby and one very small court room. And Rouse says that added up to one big mess.

Things are different in the new 4900 square foot facility built next to the old one.

"On days when we have court, you can just send people to court and you don't have people standing right at you," said Rouse. "We couldn't get in and out of doors. It was so crowded."

"People can sit down in the court room and listen to the cases," says Justice Court Clerk Shawn Strahan. "Where before just a few could get in there at the time"

Strahan says the added space has led to a much more efficient justice court system, especially when it comes to storage and retrieval of records. In years past, records were stored in empty offices, jail cells or whatever space was available.

"We got everything moved back over here and it's just more accessible, easier to file, keep up with stuff it just makes a whole lot of difference," said Strahan.

Not only is the new building much larger, Strahan and her co-workers say it's also much safer. There was nothing, in the old building to protect them from anyone who may have been disgruntled about how things went in court or the amount of a ticket they were issued. That's not the case will the new building.

"In the old building, people could just walk back and you may have somebody that's irate, and we've had that. Here you just lock the door and they can't get back. All they have is access to the lobby," says Strahan.

Strahan and co-workers like Hilda Rouse say they like the idea of a safer, more spacious worksite.

by Josh Ridgdell

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