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Troubled Clark County Drug Court suspended

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Claims that drug court participants in Clark County were jailed for months without cause and subjected to unauthorized searches and arrests by drug court staff have led the Indiana Judicial Center to suspend the problem-solving court in Jeffersonville.

Judicial Center Executive Director Jane A. Seigel on Feb. 14 said in a letter to Clark Circuit Judge Jerry Jacobi that the drug treatment court he oversees was suspended immediately, citing “allegations of unlawful conduct by drug court staff and drug court practices harmful to participants. Regretfully, the seriousness of these allegations necessitates an immediate suspension of Clark County Drug Court operations,” Seigel wrote.

Attorneys familiar with the court expressed concern that problems were significant enough that the program could be ended. Multiple participants were held in the Clark County Jail for months without a hearing or representation of counsel; several were freed in late January after a deputy prosecutor discovered the lengthy detentions.

The Judicial Center has barred the court from accepting new participants and asked Jacobi to submit a list of current participants within 10 days “and requests that you work with our office to develop a plan for the future supervision of each of these individuals.”

Meanwhile, eight plaintiffs alleging federal civil-rights violations have sued Jacobi and numerous court and county officials in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany. The suit filed Tuesday also seeks a to establish a class action for drug court participants who were jailed more than 72 hours without a hearing or due process, or were arrested by state actors lacking arrest powers.

The suit alleges four defendants were held more than 60 days without due process, including Destiny Hoffman, who was held 154 days on an initial order of a 48-hour detention. A fifth defendant allegedly was held 30 days without due process.

The suit also alleges that former drug court staff members arrived at a participant’s home last August around midnight and one staff member pointed a firearm at a resident before placing the program participant in handcuffs and taking her to jail.



 



 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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