ILNews

Abrams: A New Justice Center ? ! ? !

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

jeff abrams ibaThe offices of the Indianapolis Bar Association first learned of the city’s interest in pursuing a Justice Center several months ago when they expressed interest in learning more about our task force work over the last 10 years. However, when some bits and pieces were leaked to the media it was very quickly announced that a new Criminal Justice Center was being considered at a location near the Indianapolis Airport. This announcement sent shivers down the spines of our local judiciary and the Criminal Justice Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association, making it time for our Judicial Center Task Force, which has been involved for many, many years, and some executive officers, to more actively engage with representatives of the Mayor’s Office to learn all that the city had planned for this new facility in a very short period of time. We were very fortunate to have John Kautzman, who has chaired the task force on and off as interest has grown and waned, volunteer his time for this project. He took a very active role in communicating with representatives from the city of Indianapolis and the Mayor’s Office to understand what and where this facility was being proposed.

We quickly convened meetings with representatives from the city to discuss the viability of the airport and the concerns for true access to justice for our citizens. It became very clear to the representatives of the city that the airport location, while financially sound, might not be the best choice, and we encouraged them to reconsider other alternatives in the community. There were numerous meetings to understand the nuances of the project. The combination of the processing center, the jail, the criminal courts, the prosecutor’s office and the public defender’s office in one complex had substantial benefits.

It was around this time that those overseeing the redevelopment of the old GM Stamping Plant had made an announcement that there were developers looking at redeveloping the property for private use. We promptly initiated discussions to understand if there was land available at this site for a Justice Center. The location, being much closer to downtown Indianapolis, made this a very appealing choice as compared to the 12 other locations that had been considered by the city’s consultants.

During the winter months, John Kautzman and I met with different city representatives to continue to discuss and voice the concern that the airport location was flawed. We informed them there needed to be a better location closer to the downtown area in order for the Indianapolis Bar Association, on behalf of the judiciary, our Criminal Justice Section and all other attorneys and paralegals, to support the city’s efforts. Fortunately, the city acknowledged our concerns and, as we understand it, are recommending the GM Stamping Plant as a proper location for the future Criminal Justice Center.

While the IndyBar Board of Directors voted to support this location at this time, there are still a lot of questions to be asked and answers to be provided to our task force before this project can be commenced and completed for the benefit of our community. For example, there are numerous planning elements that should be considered so that it is a better functioning and operating facility for the judiciary, for attorneys and for their clients. The city has hired a consultant to assist with this process. We have been assured there will be meetings and opportunities for our members to review plans and specifications. We will be able to provide input so that if and when this project is completed, it will be a facility that is functional for all of us and continues to make a statement that Indianapolis is a phenomenal place to live and work.•

A Justice Center could be a real plum.
Stay tuned as there will be much more information to come.
Accepting a bad location we will never succumb.
But when it opens, we can proudly beat our bass drum.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

ADVERTISEMENT