On Tuesday, January 31, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the site selection for the city’s new justice center complex. The IndyBar, through its Justice Center Task Force, released the following statement.
Indianapolis Lawyers Support Improved Justice Facilities
The Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar) today voiced support of Mayor Joseph Hogsett’s proposal to construct a new justice center complex in Marion County. The IndyBar applauded the efforts of the city to prioritize the creation of safe, adequate and dignified justice facilities to house criminal and civil courts, integral justice agencies, and a more secure and efficient jail, while also enhancing services to those within the justice system struggling with mental health and substance abuse.
“We believe this proposal goes a long way to solve several problems, as well as support our judges, the men and women working within the justice system, our clients, and the community at large,” said John F. Kautzman, Chair of the IndyBar Justice Center Task Force. “The Indianapolis Bar Association has long favored a centrally located site, and we believe the mayor’s announced preferred location of the former Citizens Coke Plant is a good option, especially given the city’s stated financial and geographic constraints.”
The IndyBar has been working for more than a decade to focus attention on the need to overhaul the existing judicial resources, noting safety concerns and other inadequacies. The IndyBar’s Justice Center Task Force, chaired by Kautzman and directed under the leadership of IndyBar President Nissa Ricafort, was first established in 2002. For years, the association has spearheaded efforts to make a new justice center a reality, touting the long-term benefits that would be realized by not only the people involved in the legal system but also the community as a whole.
Kautzman said the IndyBar will need to review more detail concerning the overall project, including facility design and functionality, before it could unconditionally endorse the project in its entirety. “The Indianapolis Bar Association looks forward to working with the Mayor’s Office, the judiciary, the City-County Council and all other stakeholders in developing a first class justice center,” Kautzman said.•