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File #: 0684-2021    Version: 1
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 3/10/2021 In control: Criminal Justice & Judiciary Committee
On agenda: 3/29/2021 Final action: 4/1/2021
Title: To authorize and direct the Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Franklin County Municipal Court to enter into contract with Elford, Inc. to complete renovations for the video arraignment area of the Franklin County Corrections Center (Jackson Pike); to authorize the appropriation and expenditure of $409,678.00 from the special revenue fund for specialty docket programs to the Franklin County Municipal Court; to waive the competitive bidding provisions of Columbus City Code; and to declare an emergency. ($409,678.00).
Attachments: 1. Video Arraignment Jackson Pike.pdf, 2. Video Arraignment Jackson Pike Bid Waiver.pdf
Explanation

BACKGROUND:
The COVID pandemic has brought technology to the forefront of operations for the Franklin County Municipal Court. Municipal Court began using video arraignment in 2020 to limit the number of jailed defendants transported to the courthouse for arraignment limiting exposure to the novel Coronavirus for defendants, courthouse staff, and Franklin County Sheriff Office staff. The process of using video arraignments has been successful in mitigating transfer of the virus and has also increased the Courts efficiency during the arraignment process. Franklin County Municipal Court will continue to use this process going forward.
While implementing video arraignment, Franklin County Municipal Court coordinated with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and Franklin County Common Pleas Court to install and deploy a video arraignment process to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Due to space limitations at Jackson Pike, only one room could be allocated to Video Arraignments for both Municipal Court and Common Pleas Court. This collaboration required many operational changes to take place, most impactful being the reduction of days in which arraignments could be held by Municipal Court to 3 days per week. This limit on arraignments required defendants to remain detained for additional days prior to receiving an arraignment hearing. The need to resume daily arraignments has led to a coordination of efforts to allocate another room solely to Municipal Court Arraignments to alleviate the scheduling conflict with Common Pleas arraignments. In order for the Court to utilize this space provided, renovations are necessary in order to properly facilitate arraignments in an environment that complies with confidentiality, security, and process. This will allow improved management of video arraignment for defendants, and also increase video arraignment scheduling which will ultimately decrease the amount of time a defendant remains in jail prior to initial ...

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