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Vote Transfers Responsibility of Sheriffs to Judicial Branch

HARTFORD - On Tuesday, November 7, citizens voted to amend the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and eliminate the Office of the High Sheriff. As a result, the responsibility for court security, custody of prisoners and prisoner transportation is transferred to the Judicial Branch.

As of December 1, 2000, Special Deputy Sheriffs will become employees of the Judicial Branch as "Judicial Marshals". On the same date, Deputy Sheriffs performing service of process functions will become "State Marshals" under the direction of an independent State Marshal Commission, made up of seven members appointed by the Governor, Chief Justice and Legislative leaders.

"The goal of the Judicial Branch is to ensure a smooth transfer of all County Sheriff functions," said Judge Robert C. Leuba, Chief Court Administrator. "I want to assure members of the public and the Bar, as well as the County Sheriff staff, that the Judicial Branch is committed to a seamless transition of these functions, and that the services provided by the Sheriffs will continue uninterrupted."

The process of integrating Judicial Marshals into the Judicial Branch is being overseen by the Executive Committee of the Superior Court, composed of 17 judges. It will proceed in two phases. In the first phase, temporary chief supervisory appointments will be made in each of the 13 Judicial Districts to ensure that the daily business of the courts continues to run smoothly while maintaining the highest levels of security. In other operational aspects, the command structure and daily operation will continue status quo. During the latter part of November, new badges and patches identifying the Judicial Marshals will be issued Branch-wide and job postings for permanent positions about the Judicial Marshal class will be advertised.

The Judicial Branch intends to have a permanent command structure in place by late January. The "Deputy Director of Judicial Marshal Services" will lead the newly formed unit and assume responsibility for managing court facility security, prisoner transportation and custodial functions. Four "Regional Managers" will assume responsibility for daily regional supervision of and technical assistance to an assigned region encompassing several Judicial Districts.

Region One will include Danbury, Fairfield and Stamford-Norwalk Judicial Districts. Region Two consists of Ansonia-Milford, Litchfield, New Haven and Waterbury Judicial Districts. Region Three is composed of Hartford, New Britain and Middlesex Judicial Districts while Region Four is comprised of New London, Tolland and Windham Judicial Districts.

Each of the 13 Judicial Districts will be supervised and managed by a "Chief Judicial Marshal" who will be responsible for the security, transportation and custodial functions in all court and satellite facilities within that Judicial District. Further field management positions will be addressed at a later time.

"We welcome the Special Deputy Sheriffs to the Judicial Branch and look forward to the continuation of professional security services," said Judge Leuba.

Members of the Executive Committee of the Superior Court are: Hon. Michael Hartmere; Hon. Sandra V. Leheny; Hon. John P. Maiocco, Jr.; Hon. John J. Langenbach; Hon. Christina G. Dunnell; Hon. Charles D. Gill; Hon. Julia L. Aurigemma; Hon. Linda K. Lager; Hon. Susan B. Handy; Hon. Frank H. D'Andrea, Jr.; Hon. Terrence A. Sullivan; Hon. Joseph W. Doherty; Hon. Russell F. Potter, Jr.; Hon. Sidney S. Landau and Hon. Richard N. Palmer.

For futher information contact Deborah Fuller, Director, External Affairs, 860-757-2270.


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