On April 18 th , 2019, Leadership Hardin County learned about Law and Justice in our community through various leaders in our court system, police force, and jail system. We were given the opportunity to visit the Elizabethtown Justice Center, the Elizabethtown Police Station, and the Hardin County Detention Center.
The day began at the Justice Center with Judge Kim Shumate, who had arranged and planned the day for us. After going over our agenda, Judge Shumate invited in a handful of Chiefs and officers of the various law enforcement agencies in Hardin County for a roundtable discussion. Several questions were asked including drug issues in our communities, how social media impacts the different departments, etc. We were thankful for the opportunity to be able to have candid and informative discussions with these important leaders. After the roundtable, we visited one of the courtrooms in the Justice Center to watch Judge John Simcoe perform video arraignments on those that had been arrested the night before – it was very interesting to be able to watch and see how this process works. After the video arraignments, we returned to Judge Shumate to discuss what we had witnessed as well as some discussion on the process of Teen Court in Hardin County. To finish off our morning, we traveled to the Elizabethtown Police Department for a wonderful tour by Deputy Chiefs David Fegett and Kelly Sloane. We then returned to the Justice Center once again for lunch.
Back at the Justice Center, Judge Shumate once again took the stage and discussed some different agencies and alternative programs within our court systems that help to keep the youth and other special populations out of our already over-crowed jail. These programs included the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) program, the BRIDGES Restorative Justice for youth program, as well as the various Treatment Courts that are offered in Hardin County. Treatment Court includes Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and the Veterans Treatment Court. Next, we were able to meet with the Circuit, District, and Family Court judges, as well as the County and Commonwealth Attorneys. They all went over their different jobs, responsibilities, and all the different issues they face within our community daily. It was an eye-opening experience to hear about the issues our community faces from the very people who make decisions on these issues every single day.
To finish out our day, we traveled to the Hardin County Detention Center for a tour of the facility. Being inside the jail and learning about its inner-workings, the day-to-day challenges the staff face, and seeing how the prisoners live was both an exciting and
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