Circuit Court Judge Justin C. Angel announced that the 12th Judicial District of Tennessee, which is comprised of Bledsoe, Sequatchie, Marion, Rhea, Franklin, and Grundy counties will be receiving $140,625 in new grants.
As a result of Covid-19, the need for more technology in the courtroom arose. This grant award is for the installation of a new video arraignment system in the General Sessions and Circuit Court courtrooms all throughout the 12th Judicial District. This is in addition to the $159,815 in funds that the 12th Judicial District received from a Courtroom Security Grant earlier this year, bringing the district’s total grant award to $300,440.00.
“All six of the counties in the 12th Judicial District will save immense amount of time and money by utilizing this new technology,” said Judge Angel. “This will allow us to remotely address an inmate in court who is in the county jail without transporting them from the jail. We can also handle court proceedings for any inmate who may be housed in another county or state, as opposed to the old method of sending a deputy out in a county vehicle, on county time, to transport the inmate. In addition to saving time and money with its efficiency, this system is incredibly safer for law enforcement and court personnel when an individual poses a security risk. Also, during a health pandemic, we can ensure access to justice and protect constitutional rights without risking the spread of disease.”
Judge Angel, who is the presiding judge of the 12th Judicial District, also serves on the executive committee for the Tennessee Judicial Conference, he is the president of the 12th Judicial District Bar Association, and is a member of the State Courtroom Security Committee. Judge Angel was able to facilitate and expedite the district’s grant application and award. The state agreed to waive the requirement of a 10% match of local funds.
“I want to thank all of the Administrative Office of the Courts, the county and circuit judges in our district, the county mayors, court clerks, and sheriffs for their hard work in making all of this possible.” Judge Angel said.