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Opening of Bergen’s new ‘courtroom in jail’ goes smoothly

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

For the first time ever in Bergen County, a judge processed defendants at the county jail annex, a move that Sheriff Leo McGuire said could save taxpayers up to $500,000 a year in staffing and other expenses, while reducing court backlogs and making the process safer for officers, court personnel and the public.


As soon as Superior Court Judge Louis J. Dinice (above) began conducting first-appearance hearings for recent arrestees this morning, the need to transport defendants from the jail to the courtroom was eliminated.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to provide more with less, and our new courtroom in the jail certainly fits the bill,” Bergen County Sheriff Leo P. McGuire said.  “This collaboration allows us to share services, save money and reduce manpower while ensuring public safety.”

The room was retrofitted using free inmate labor and at a cost of less than $8,000 for building materials and required technological equipment, the sheriff said.

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