Yummy! Mice for lunch!
Excerpts from the Article:
Two former inmates in New Mexico are suing state prison staff and a food-service contractor for cruelty and negligence after they failed to resolve a yearslong rat and mouse infestation at the kitchen in a women’s lockup. They cited health risks including mouse-borne Hantavirus.
The federal-court lawsuit announced Tuesday from Albuquerque-area residents Susie Zapata and Monica Garcia describes a “horrific and widespread” rodent infestation that included contact between food and the rodent feces, urine and and even rodents that somehow plunged into stew and a batch of oatmeal.
The Department of Corrections declined to comment on details of the lawsuit, citing pending litigation.
The lawsuit also takes aim at South Dakota-based contractor Summit Food Service that provides meal services the Western New Mexico Corrections Facility, a 390-bed prison in the city of Grants. Company representatives were unavailable. The suit was filed by the New Mexico Prison & Jail Project, a nonprofit advocacy group for improved prison conditions. The group was established last year and is led by attorney Matthew Coyte.
Zapata and Garcia attest to bouts of severe food poisoning during their incarceration that resulted in vomiting and diarrhea. The suit says numerous complaints were filed by inmates without an adequate response. Inmates say they risked discipline by defying orders to serve contaminated food.
This is a damn shame. MOST cops are good cops!
Excerpts from the Article:
While investigating a tip late last year about a man suspected of possessing child sexual abuse imagery, deputies from the sheriff’s office in Walton County, Fla., worried that executing a search warrant might be dangerous: The man lived in an isolated area, kept strange hours and was thought to have a secret bunker.
So they showed up at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday in December with a SWAT team. When the man opened his front door, he greeted the deputies armed with a shotgun. Though no shots were fired, deputies found an underground repository hidden under a trap door in the shed.
F.B.I. agents executing a similar warrant on Tuesday in a sprawling apartment complex in Broward County, nearly 600 miles south, faced a much more violent scenario. A suspect that officials identified on Wednesday as David L. Huber, 55, who was under investigation in a case involving violent crimes against children, fatally shot two F.B.I. agents, the bureau said.
“You can be prepared and equipped and do everything right — and things can go horribly wrong,” Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson Jr. of Walton County said.
Tuesday’s fatal shooting has left the nation’s tight-knit law enforcement community reeling as officials continued to examine evidence on the scene to understand how the F.B.I.’s case in Broward County turned into a deadly gunfight.
The shooting broke out before dawn when a group of F.B.I. agents was executing a search warrant at Mr. Huber’s apartment in Sunrise, Fla., northwest of Fort Lauderdale. The suspect opened fire on members of the search team, federal officials said, and Mr. Huber was later found inside the apartment in an apparent suicide.
The shooting killed Special Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger and injured three other agents, all of whom had been released from the hospital as of Wednesday evening.
Experts said it was uncommon to see suspects attack law enforcement during child sexual exploitation arrests; police officers are usually more worried about the suspects killing themselves or destroying evidence. Still, investigators said they often found weapons on the property, meaning the threat of violence was always present.
“Every time my team approaches the house, I hold my breath, because you just don’t know,” said Sgt. Jeff Swanson, the commander of an internet crimes against children task force in Kansas.
Mr. Huber had worked as recently as April 2020 as a temporary technology contractor for Florida Blue, an affiliate insurance company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield. He had previously worked as a temporary systems engineer with Modis, an employment agency, according to a financial statement he submitted in court when his wife filed for divorce in March 2016, in which he said he made $80,000 in 2015.
Mr. Huber’s ex-wife lives in a gated community of two-story houses with Spanish-tiled roofs and palm-tree-lined streets in Pembroke Pines. She could not be reached for comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. A police cruiser was parked near one of the community’s entrances.
The Whole Story:
Hundreds of guards and inmates know perfectly well that “guards” smuggle in heroin, and much other contraband!
Two relatives of inmates and one guard have told me about this, and my friend Steve Hampton, Esq. has heard similar reports.
As Steve said in his email to me:
“Perhaps you remember a few months ago DOC was touting the new scanning devices they had installed to allow them to scan visitors. They were quite expensive if I recall. However almost all contraband such as drugs or cell phones comes in by correctional officers, or other prison staff. To my knowledge DOC is not using the new scanning devices on them.
This was a typical ploy by DOC in which they talk up the things they are doing to supposedly address problems, but ignore all of the things they should be doing but aren’t.
Yesterday there were two overdoses at Vaughn, and from what I’m hearing one of the men died. Have you heard about this? Really concerned for everyone that’s in there and is struggling with substance use issues because we know that there’s little to no treatment available.
Two inmates overdosed last night in the same building. Reportedly smuggled in by a CO. There aren’t any contract people-except Medical. They can’t blame it on visitors. Once again dirty CO’s. They are so easily corrupted and bribed by these guys, I know that they were given multiple rounds of Narcan, and I believe both went to the hospital.
No telling how much they got for it. Just another day in paradise.”
I still am trying to get facts I can put on the record.
In the paper the next day: https://delawarestatenews.net/police/inmate-dies-of-suspected-overdose-at-smyrna-prison/#:~:text=SMYRNA%20%E2%80%94%20A%2035%2Dyear%2D,Department%20of%20Correction%20announced%20Thursday. = Inmate dies of suspected overdose at Smyrna prison
Millions of Americans are one paycheck away from becoming homeless. I have been aware of what “minor miracles” can be accomplished by a good shelter ever since I landed at Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing in 2012!
Where are more judges like this one?
Excerpts from the Article:
A fed up federal judge in California said last week’s rainstorm created “extraordinarily harsh” conditions for homeless residents of Los Angeles. prompting him to order city officials to meet with him at a Skid Row shelter to discuss how to address the worsening crisis of people living on the streets.
“These conditions cannot be allowed to continue!” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote in a strongly worded order on Sunday. The action involves a lawsuit filed last March by the LA Alliance for Human Rights, which accused officials in greater Los Angeles of failing to comprehensively address the homelessness problem.
Carter calls out the city for making promises but ultimately doing nothing substantial to address the “appalling and dangerous” situation facing people living on Skid Row, the notorious epicenter of homelessness in downtown LA.
“The storms last week, and the lack of preparation, seems to have pushed Judge Carter over the top,” said Daniel Conway, policy adviser for the alliance, a coalition of service providers, small-business owners, residents and community leaders.
“We are saving lives by bringing more people indoors at a faster pace now than we ever have before. The city is on schedule to meet the terms of our agreement with the county, which the court has approved, and we’re continuing to push for more progress with every available resource,” said a statement from Alex Comisar, press secretary for Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Garcetti appreciates the judge’s work “to help us house our homeless neighbors as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
During his downtown visit on Friday, Carter witnessed the impact of the wet, cold weather on homeless residents, “particularly elderly women and victims of mental illness, at least one of whom was naked and suffering from hypothermia,” he wrote.
Andy Bales, the CEO of the homeless shelter Union Rescue Mission who was with the judge during the tour, said what they saw was “despicable.”
“These ladies were suffering out there in the rain, in the cold. Some didn’t have shoes,” Bales said Monday.
Citing the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring mental health and substance abuse issues among those living on the streets, the judge compared homelessness to “a significant natural disaster in Southern California with no end in sight.”
The judge has asked officials to outline the steps the city has taken and intends to take to tackle homelessness at the hearing Carter called for Thursday at the Downtown Women’s Center, said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for LA City Attorney Mike Feuer. The hearing will address whether the court should deploy remedies to deal with the crisis, the judge wrote.
Conway said possible actions include a consent decree, which if all parties agree would effectively end the lawsuit with a settlement giving Carter ultimate power to order the city and county to build shelters and provide services.
“There’s a real possibility that Los Angeles’ new Homeless Czar could be a federal judge,” Conway said.
A January 2020 count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that there were more than 66,400 homeless people living in Los Angeles County — by far the largest single concentration in the state. That included more than 41,000 within the city limits. Both figures were up more than 12% from the previous year.
Carter noted that 1,383 homeless people died in the city and county of Los Angeles last year, a 32% increase from 2019.
In June, Carter approved a deal as part of the ongoing lawsuit that saw the city and county agreeing to provide housing for almost 7,000 homeless people who live near freeways and those over 65 or vulnerable to COVID-19.
Since that agreement little progress has been made and the judge on Sunday slammed local officials for their “apparent abdication of responsibility” to keep the streets safe. He added that the court “cannot allow the paralysis of the political process” to continue to endanger lives.
Bales said Union Rescue Mission, Councilman Kevin de Leon’s office and others on Friday tried to find a place to immediately erect temporary rain shelters, but they ended up in conflict about possible locations with members of the mayor’s staff.
“A turf war broke out right in front of our eyes,” he said.
At the end of the day a small number of hotel rooms were purchased to get some of the women out of the rain, said Pete Brown, a spokesman for de Leon. The councilman will attend Thursday’s hearing, Brown said.
Bales said he hopes Carter will use the full power of the court to address the crisis.
“Absolutely he should act,” Bates said. “We need immediate shelter and safety. And politicians aren’t getting the job done.”
I have posted articles like this b4, but this problem is serious, and the situation continues. Bad cops routinely manage to hide prior complaints. All police agencies should keep and make public a record of all complaints against an officer, and the status of what was done about it. i.e. “investigated and dismissed as without merit”, or “investigated and officer was terminated”, etc.
Even when fired for misconduct – abuse – officers often “hop over” to another police agency. This too must end. Abusive officers have no business being in law enforcement.
As for Ms. LaToya Holley:
Excerpts from the Article:
Two years ago, my 19-year-old brother, Anton, was killed by a former Dover police officer. After his death, it was revealed that the officer had 29 use-of-force reports filed against him.
In June, Delaware lawmakers created the Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force (LEATF) to recommend policing reforms, and it recently released an interim report. A key measure was missing that could have saved my brother’s life: public access to police misconduct records.
Delaware is one of the few states in the nation where officer disciplinary records are only known by police internal affair units. That secrecy enabled Thomas Webster to continue abusing Dover residents during the decade he spent on the force. In 2015, he finally resigned after facing criminal charges for kicking a Black man in the face and breaking his jaw during an arrest.
Webster simply moved across state lines and was hired as an officer in Greensboro, Maryland. That is where the fatal encounter with my brother occurred. Webster responded to a 911 call claiming that Anton kidnapped a 12-year-old boy, who was actually a cousin. Within an hour of crossing paths with Webster and other officers who were handling the call, my brother was dead.
My family was shocked and the tight-knit community of Greensboro was devastated. Anton was known as a star athlete who won the state championship for track his senior year of high school. He was the baby in my family with a sweet and gentle personality that made everyone love him. Anton had his whole life ahead of him and it was brutality taken away.
In this Jan. 28, 2019, photo, pictures of Anton Black decorate a collage in his family’s home in Greensboro, Md. Black, 19, died after a struggle with three officers and a civilian outside the home in September 2018. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Webster never should have gotten a badge in Maryland. His certification would have been denied had the state police training commission known about his history in Dover. Last year, the former Greensboro police chief pleaded guilty to covering up Webster’s record on his application. It would have been much harder to hide this information if Delaware made it public in the first place.
My home state should shine a light on police misconduct, as other states have done. New York just repealed a similar law, joining Alabama, Florida, Ohio and other states that allow full access to complaints filed against officers and how departments resolved them. Most other states require at least some degree of transparency around these files.
Anton’s death is among the many terrible consequences of secrecy. It undermines trust within police departments. Officers do not know whether discipline is administered fairly and consistently across the department. Innocent people are at risk of wrongful conviction because judges and juries do not know if an officer who built a case has a history of lying or fabricating evidence.
As a citizen, I’m left wondering about the police in my neighborhood. Are they among the majority of professional and ethical officers? Or do they have a record of brutality and misconduct? If I file a complaint, will the department take it seriously or sweep it under the rug?
This change has to be the first step for other reforms to be effective. Changing use of force policies doesn’t do much unless there are consequences for violations. Civilian review boards cannot properly evaluate complaints without access to an officer’s disciplinary history.
The Delaware General Assembly should pass legislation removing secrecy of police misconduct files. Personal information like addresses and medical history should be redacted to address privacy concerns. There should also be a statewide database for departments to access this information before hiring an officer.
Transparent policing is more than a talking point, it is a matter of life and death. I pray that no other family in Delaware has to go through what mine did. Real change can start now by ending secrecy around police misconduct in Delaware.
LaToya Holley is the sister of Anton Black, who was killed by police in Greensboro, Maryland. She currently resides in Delaware. She can be reached via email: email@example.com.
This crap gives government a bad rap anywhere, but in a territory where so many inhabitants are poor, who is going to pay for this blunder?! Seems to me that somebody should be indicted!
Only convictions will send the message that citizens will not tolerate the kind of incredibly sloppy governance we see in this article!
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal control board that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances announced Wednesday that it has contacted federal and local law enforcement agencies after discovering the island’s Department of Education paid more than $84 million to people who no longer work there.
The payments were made from 2007 to 2020, with the department recovering only 15% of that money so far, said Natalie Jaresko, the board’s executive director. She noted the agency only recently implemented an electronic attendance system even though it had invested in one more than a decade ago, adding that she didn’t know what amount of funds might have been erroneously distributed.
Jaresko asked that all those who were paid even though they no longer worked for the agency voluntarily return the money, adding that it’s “very possible” people collected the checks of workers who died. An estimated 17,500 former employees overall received checks, she said.
“Payroll must be paid only to those who earn their salaries,” she said, calling the situation a “systematic failure.”
Jaresko said she did not know if federal funds were involved.
Puerto Rico continues to restructure a portion of its more than $70 billion public debt load amid an economic crisis, the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to rebuild from hurricanes and earthquakes.
Jaresko said the board first investigated the Department of Education because it is the largest government agency, with some 40,000 employees, representing 40% of government workers. More investigations into other agencies will follow, she said.
Education Secretary Eligio Hernández said in a statement that the department provided the information to the board and is cooperating. He said the agency is still trying to recover the remaining money and that for the past 13 years it has been transitioning from a manual attendance system to a digital one.
The department has long struggled with bureaucracy and blamed its problems on limited resources. Jaresko noted that money was taken away from other public agencies last year and given to the Department of Education because it had insufficient funds for payroll.
Jaresko said Puerto Rico’s government as a whole does not require public workers to log in time and attendance, noting that employees who don’t punch in still get paid. The board wants to implement an automated system linked to payroll this year that will be mandatory to use to avoid similar situations.
“This is not one administration, one political party,” she said. “This is a systemic problem.”
Also on Wednesday, the island’s comptroller’s office announced that the heavily indebted Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority spent $192 million on buying land or developing projects that were never built or completed. More than $62 million alone was invested in a proposed natural gas pipeline, a project that was canceled more than a decade ago.
Investigators also accused the company of not adhering to transparency standards, noting that it had not published on its website nearly 200 contracts and amendments worth more than $1.9 billion.
Efran Paredes, the company’s interim director, said in a statement that the agency’s internal audit department is evaluating the findings and recommendations to improve and correct what’s needed. He also said it will adopt the corrective measures sought by the comptroller’s office.
Puerto Rico’s power company has long blamed problems including ongoing outages and lack of maintenance on limited resources.
Opioid Deaths Fall When Cannabis Stores Rise, Analysis Suggests — Can legal marijuana ease the opioid crisis?
This has been known for some time, but it warrants repeating! Though not the front page headlines so much, opioids continue to kill thousands of our kids, sisters, Moms, … every month! Another reason why POT should be legal everywhere.
SEE https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates =
Overdose Death Rates | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Excerpts from the Article:
Access to legal cannabis stores was linked with fewer opioid deaths in the U.S., a new analysis suggested.
The number of marijuana dispensaries in a county was negatively related to log-transformed opioid mortality rate, adjusted for age (β -0.17, 95% CI -0.23 to -0.11), reported Balázs Kovács, PhD, of Yale University School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut, and Greta Hsu, PhD, of University of California Davis Graduate School of Management.
This means that increasing the number of storefront dispensaries from one to two was tied to a 17% reduction in death rates of all opioid types, and an increase from two to three stores was associated with a further 8.5% reduction in mortality, Kovács and Hsu noted.
The relationship was stronger — leading to an estimated 21% drop in mortality — when only deaths from synthetic non-methadone opioids like fentanyl were considered (β -0.21, 95% CI -0.27 to -0.14), they wrote in The BMJ.
“We find this relationship holds for both medical dispensaries, which serve only patients who have a state-approved medical card or doctor’s recommendation, as well as for recreational dispensaries, which sell to adults 21 years and older,” Kovács said.
As business school researchers, Kovács and Hsu first became interested in the increasing prevalence of legal cannabis stores as an organizational issue.
“We tracked evolving cannabis markets across the U.S. from 2014 onwards in an effort to understand how this new category of organizations emerged,” Kovács told MedPage Today. “We realized, however, that our county-level database could also be used to examine whether the availability of legal cannabis in an increasing number of geographic areas has any implications for opioid misuse.”
Their findings add to a mixed evidence base about the relationship between legal marijuana and opioid overdoses. In 2014, an analysis suggested that states with medical cannabis laws experienced slower increases in opioid overdose mortality. However, a subsequent study showed that those findings didn’t hold over a longer period, and that associations between state medical cannabis laws and opioid-related mortality reversed direction and remained positive after accounting for recreational cannabis laws.
Kovács and Hsu based their analysis on data from 812 counties in 23 states (plus the District of Columbia) that allowed legal cannabis dispensaries to operate by the end of 2017. They combined 2014-2018 CDC mortality data with census data and storefront information from Weedmaps, collecting data on dispensaries operating within each county on a monthly basis from 2014 to December 2017. Mortality analysis focused on deaths of people 21 and older.
Eight states and the District of Columbia allowed for recreational storefronts; 15 allowed for medical dispensaries only. An increase from one to two medical dispensaries led to an estimated 15% mortality rate reduction in the study; an increase from one to two recreational dispensaries led to an 11% drop.
Two points about this analysis need to be considered, noted Sameer Imtiaz, PhD, of the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research in Toronto, and colleagues, in an accompanying editorial.
First, the mechanism underlying the association is unclear. “In the context of medicinal cannabis legalization, reduced deaths from opioid overdose do not coincide with reduced non-medicinal use of pain relievers or with opioid distribution, defined as the flow of substances from the manufacturers to retail distributors,” they wrote. “The absence of concurrent changes in such opioid-related outcomes questions the premise of substitution.”
Moreover, inferences about individuals cannot be drawn from aggregate-level data in an ecologically designed study like this, the editorialists pointed out. Both harmful and beneficial associations between opioids and cannabis have been seen at the individual level, they observed.
The findings suggest a potential relationship between the increased prevalence of cannabis dispensaries and reduced opioid-related mortality and do not show causality, Kovács emphasized. “While we find a particularly strong association between the prevalence of storefront dispensaries and fentanyl-related opioid deaths, it is not clear whether cannabis use and fentanyl mortality rates are more specifically linked, or if the strength of the association is due to the rise in fentanyl use and mortality rates during the study period,” he said.
Potential harms of cannabis, including the cognitive development of adolescents, medical conditions such as schizophrenia, and public safety risks, should not be ignored, he added.
This week I got 29 articles about outrageous conduct by prison staff! I can only put a couple of them in each eNewsletter. 🙂 But be assured that when you see abuse of inmates by staff it is the tip of the iceberg!
My book will remind us that it should not take this degree of abuse to END PRISON ABUSE!
Excerpts from the Article:
Dozens of corrections officers at New Jersey’s only women’s prison have been placed on paid leave following allegations that staff brutally beat and sexually assaulted inmates there.
One woman, Ajila Nelson, told NJ.com that officers at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility on Jan. 11 handcuffed her and others, before punching, kicking, stripping and dragging her to a shower, after which she says an unidentified male officer got on top of her and groped and sexually assaulted her.
The allegations led lawmakers on Thursday to calls for investigations and the firing of the state’s top correctional official.
About 30 officers have been placed on paid leave, according to the corrections officers union.
The newspaper reviewed letters and firsthand accounts with advocates and relatives, in addition to speaking with Nelson in a Tuesday night interview from the prison.
A transgender woman incarcerated at the facility was beaten by a group of officers and three officers stomped on her head, her mother, Trimeka Rollins, told the newspaper. Her daughter’s knee was so badly damaged that she’s now using a wheelchair, Rollins said.
Nelson detailed the severity of the attack in her interview with the newspaper.
“They started throwing punches, throwing punches,” Nelson told NJ.com. “I am cuffed so I can’t defend myself. I can’t stop the punches from coming. All I know is they got me to the floor and they started stomping my head. I started getting dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out. Then they grabbed my arm and bent my arm back. I heard it crack and I felt it crack. I tried to look up and look at my arm. As soon as I looked up, I got kicked in my face with a boot. My whole sight went out.”
The Associated Press doesn’t usually identify victims of sexual assault, but Nelson said she wanted the public to hear about the attack on her and the other women. Nelson told the newspaper she was eventually administered a rape kit. Her family members told NJ.com she reported the same details to them. It’s unclear how many other inmates were involved.
A motive for the attack isn’t clear, but Nelson said she believed it was in retaliation for complaints the women had made against officers.
Liz Velez, a spokesperson for the state Corrections Department, which oversees the prison, said authorities “engaged” the Hunterdon County’s prosecutor’s office. That office referred questions to corrections officials. The state attorney general’s office said in an emailed statement that its Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the county prosecutor are investigating the matter, but didn’t provide any further details.
The allegations have led to calls for Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks to be fired. On Thursday, all 25 the Democratic senators in the Legislature wrote to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy demanding Hicks be removed. They also sought a federal investigation.
A message seeking comment was left with Murphy’s office.
It’s not the first time similar allegations have been raised at the prison, which has 395 inmates, according to the state. In April, a U.S. Justice Department report alleged that the state corrections department and officials at prison violated inmates’ constitutional rights by failing to protect them.
Several corrections officers at the prison have pleaded guilty or been convicted of sexual abuse and misconduct in recent years.
The report called sexual abuse at the prison “severe and prevalent,” and said a “culture of acceptance” has persisted for many years. It concluded that the prison failed to adequately investigate abuse complaints and didn’t protect those who reported abuse from retaliation.
These are badly needed, but the real problem is that the whole court system is a train wreck and only good, smart, fair minded judges can fix it, and THERE ARE NOT NEARLY ENOUGH OF THOSE!
Another serious problem is that it is nearly impossible to successfully sue any judge … so they get lazy and sloppy … or worse!
Excerpts from the Article:
There’s $50 million in Gov. John Carney’s proposed capital budget to begin building two new Family Court facilities, pending approval by the General Assembly.
The new court buildings would be constructed in Dover and Georgetown, near current facilities that have been deemed antiquated, unsafe and cramped by the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts.
The proposed buildings were part of Gov. Carney’s overall fiscal year 2022 budget recommendation unveiled Thursday, and construction at the Sussex County site in Georgetown could begin as early as this summer and last two years, Delaware Office of Management and Budget Director Cerron Cade said.
According to Family Court Chief Judge Michael K. Newell, “We are pleased that the governor has included in his recommended budget funding for new Family Court facilities in Kent and Sussex (counties). We are optimistic that the General Assembly will support this important project. New Family Court courthouses in Georgetown and Dover are critically needed. The current Family Court facilities in both counties are inadequate, unsafe and undignified.
“The funding included in the governor’s recommended budget will allow us to begin to replace these outdated buildings with expertly designed courthouses to enable the citizens of Delaware to have some of the most intimate matters that affect families and children addressed in a safe and appropriate setting.”
Building of the new Kent County Family Court in Dover would follow at an undetermined point, Mr. Cade said, and have a 2.5-year timeline. More funding for the projects will be requested as needed, Office of the Courts spokesman Sean O’Sullivan said Thursday.
The Office of the Courts compiled a proposal fact sheet in February, which detailed the need for a new facility in Georgetown compared to the current court that was built in 1988. Mr. O’Sullivan said Thursday that many of the same drawbacks exist in Dover, where the court was constructed in 1989.
While courtrooms in New Castle County’s Wilmington location average 1,100 square feet, the space in Georgetown is around 600 per courtroom. There’s no public lobby before the security checkpoint, which Mr. O’Sullivan described as cramped.
The Sussex County building measures 31,000 square feet, while the Dover facility is 35,000.
There were 117,625 people who entered the Kent County Family Court in 2019, while 116,220 people entered in Sussex County, the Office of the Courts said, noting that numbers were drastically reduced in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A rendering of the planned Sussex County Family Court building in Georgetown. (Submitted photo/Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts)
The Sussex County Family Court would be located on the southeast corner of Race and Market streets, across Race Street from the current courthouse. The area is currently occupied by court/state offices, along with private tenants.
The new Kent County Family Court is tentatively set for the intersection of South Governors Avenue and Water Street.
Other issues in Kent County and Sussex County, according to the Office of the Courts, include:
• No public lobby before the security checkpoint.
• Cramped existing security checkpoint.
• Small waiting area/lobby that does not allow sufficient separation of parties or allow sufficiently private conversations between litigants and their attorneys.
• No workspace for prosecutors, defense attorneys, child advocates or other stakeholders/companion agencies.
• No separate hallways/elevator for prisoner transfers (meaning they move through the same hallways as used by staff and judges).
• Existing holding cells do not allow for meaningful male/female or adult/child separation.
• Since the existing Family Court facilities were opened, caseloads have nearly doubled, and jurisdictions have expanded.
• The existing facilities have been documented as being deficient in meeting modern safety and security standards.
New facility proposals include:
• At least eight courtrooms in each facility, averaging between 1,400 and 1,800 square feet per courtroom. The additional space would make the courtrooms safer and more dignified for litigants, court staff and other participants, as it allows for additional separation between opposing parties.
• New facilities would have workspaces for the Department of Justice, the Office of Defense Services, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, the Division of Child Support Services, the Office of the Child Advocate and domestic violence advocates. Additionally, both facilities will have courtrooms for Justice of the Peace Courts.
• The design has not been finalized, but it is estimated that the facilities would be approximately 100,000 square feet each, allowing for larger courtrooms; a larger, more secure lobby, security checkpoint and holding area; and additional workspace for court staff and stakeholders.
• Each of the sites of the new Family Courts have space for an additional two courtrooms for future expansion.
The Whole Story:
AS I WROTE YEARS AGO:
There he goes again! Yes, his hate-filled speech has increased hate crimes, but The DEATH count for tRump far exceeds 213,000! tRump’s bungling of the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 213,000 Americans and destroyed the nation’s economy, all in less than 3 months.
But the most dangerous and widespread physical damage (he also has caused significant economic and societal damage) tRump has caused to Americans is his elimination of or relaxation of EPA rules and regulations! Millions are becoming sick and dying because of our poisoned land, air, and water, and our Poisoner in Chief is going the wrong way.
tRump is killing Americans so that his buddies and donors, who own these companies, can profit. Plain and simple.
I post anti Trump comments because all responsible citizens have a duty to do so! I shall give the nitwits who respond in his defense exactly the amount of my time they are worth: NONE
On every issue, in so many ways:
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal judge has blocked a last-minute rule issued by the Trump administration to limit what evidence the Environmental Protection Agency may consider as it regulates pollutants to protect public health.
Former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the Jan. 6 rule was aimed at ending what he and other Republicans call “secret science.″ Some industry and conservative groups had long pushed for the change, saying public health studies that hold confidential and potentially identifying data about test subjects should be made public so the underlying data can be scrutinized before the EPA issues rules aimed at protecting public health.
Wheeler called the rule an attempt to boost transparency about government decision-making, but critics said it was hastily imposed and would threaten patient confidentiality and the privacy of individuals in public health studies that underlie federal regulations.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Montana ruled late Wednesday that the EPA had unlawfully rushed the regulation, saying its decision to make it final just two weeks before then-President Donald Trump left office was “arbitrary” and “capricious.” Morris delayed the rule until at least Feb. 5, giving the new Biden administration time to assess whether to go forward with it or make changes.
An EPA spokesman said Friday the agency is “committed to making evidence-based decisions and developing policies and programs that are guided by the best science.″ EPA “will follow the science and law in accordance with the Biden-Harris administration’s executive orders and other directives in reviewing all of the agency’s actions issued under the previous administration,″ including the so-called Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science rule, spokesman Ken Labbe said in a statement.
“Its purpose and effect is to disregard and devalue the harm pollutants and toxics cause, and therefore deprive the public of needed protection based on those studies,″ Levitan said Friday.
The Trump rule would restrict regulators’ consideration of findings from public health studies unless the underlying data from them are made public. The rule deals with so-called dose response findings, which look at harm suffered at varying exposures to a pollutant or other toxic agent.
The change, which was made final without a required 30-day notice, came after hundreds of thousands of earlier objections from scientists, public-health experts, regulators, academics, environmental advocates and others in public hearings and written remarks, in some of the strongest protests of a proposed EPA rule change.
The new limits on considering scientific findings were among scores of Trump changes to roll back environmental regulations or hinder the ability of the Biden administration to impose new regulations. Other late-term rollbacks gutted protections for birds from unintentional killings by industry and aimed to open up formerly protected areas of the Arctic wilderness for oil and gas leasing. Both have been blocked by executive orders issued by President Joe Biden.
Many of the changes imposed by Trump face court challenges and can be reversed by executive action or by lengthier bureaucratic process. But undoing them will take time and effort by the Biden administration, which has set ambitious goals to fight climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions and lessen the impact of pollutants on lower-income and minority communities.