The Barren County Court system took another leap into the 21st Century this week.
That is District Court Judge Gabe Pendelton describing the first day of video arraignments in Barren District Court. An arraignment is a court proceeding at which a criminal defendant is formally advised of the charges against them and is asked to enter a plea on those charges. The court can also set bail at an arraignment.
Up until this week, all arraignments were done at the Barren County Courthouse and the Barren County Sheriff’s Office was responsible for transporting inmates from the Barren County Detention Center to the courthouse, which Barren County Sheriff Kent Keen says posed a risk to both safety and security:
Attorney Mike Richardson works for the Barren County Attorney’s Office and he attends the majority of arraignments. He also notes the potential risk that transportation poses:
Barren County Jailer Tracy Bellamy says that getting the video arraignments was a process, but very worth it:
Done through a live video call, inmates scheduled for arraignment, along with their attorneys go through the same process they would if they were actually in the courtroom. The Judge and the rest of the court staff are on the other end of the video call and it is all competed in real time.
Judge Pendelton says it is going to be great all the way around:
Jailer Bellamy adds it is another step forward:
Video arraignments will take place on Monday and Wednesday in Barren District Court.