Prisoners Wait Longer than 24 Hours for Arraignment: Report

The delays were attributed to $170 million in budget cuts that have reduced courtroom hours

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Hundreds of prisoners in Brooklyn are being held for longer than 24 hours after their arrest without seeing a judge for arraignment -- a violation of state law, according to a published report.

    According to The New York Post, nearly half of the prisoners awaiting arraignment at the start of last week had been held longer than 24 hours without seeing a judge.  The newspaper did not say how many people had been arrested in that time.

    On July 3, more than 57 percent of people arrested in Kings County waited more than 24 hours to see a lawyer, the newspaper said.  It was worse on the July Fourth holiday, when the number waiting over the mandated time for arraignment hit 59 percent, the newspaper said.

    The delays were attributed to $170 million in budget cuts that have reduced courtroom hours, especially over weekends.  Arraignments used to run from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Those days run in a single shift from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

    "Last week was not a great week, and the holiday weekend did not help matters," Judge Lawrence Marks, the administrative director of the Office of Court Administration told the Post.

    Delays are common throughout the city, he said, but "Brooklyn has presented the greatest challenge."