Noting the recommendation by Senator Bennerson and the Attorney General to create yet another Cabinet post for Corrections, one wonders about the wisdom of the rapid increase of the jurisdiction of the Territorial Courts.
The Territorial courts have taken over from the Federal Courts a vast amount of jurisdiction. The desirability of this is not questioned. Rather the expense.
Did we move to quickly? We now pay for those prisoners on the Mainland who if convicted in the Federal Courts would not have been our expense. This matters little to the prisoners but is another burden on the local budget diverting money from local services. Our local prisons are crowded. Our Territorial Courts are backlogged. The right to a speedy trial is being stretched and civil matters now linger.
We need to see if we can shift some reasonable areas back to the Federal Courts with lessening the local burden on the Courts and the expense. We should do this until we are in a better economic position.
LESSENING THE BURDEN ON TERRITORIAL COURTS
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