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|IDB happy at present location in courthouse|
Concordia Parish Indigent Defender Derrick Carson knows a lot of people don't realize what exactly he and the Indigent Defender Board (IDB) staff does on a daily basis.
But he says if they did they would understand his desire to keep his office downstairs of the Concordia Parish Courthouse.
The Concordia Parish Police Jury has been listening to requests from Golda Ensminger of the Registrar of Voters office to move her office downstairs for more space, which would mean moving IDB upstairs.
"We represent a large portion of the populous in Concordia Parish and in some way or another we touch the lives of about 90 percent of the people who live here in one way or another," Carson said. "When a person is arrested, the parish has to pay for that person to sit in jail, paying the Sheriff's Office or whomever to sit in jail. The efforts of my office to resolve those cases as quickly as possible -- either way -- helps ease the burden of the taxpayer."
Carson's chief concern for moving upstairs is for security reasons.
"As it stands now, other courthouses have a lot more security measures in place for moving people around than Concordia Parish," Carson said. "Placing the Indigent office upstairs may require additional security measures. We see people late in the afternoon and early in the morning every day. You don't have as much traffic downstairs and the doors are basically locked all the time. And we are not far from the jail. Upstairs we would be close to the courtroom and we don't know who those people are that would be accessible to the people we see. Downstairs we are in a situation that is controllable and we can at least take away certain factions."
Carson said the Registrar of Voters asked for more space downstairs years ago and it was not allowed.
"There is talk of expanding the courthouse anyway and expanding offices downstairs, and we wonder why can't we wait until that happens," Carson said. "We see six or seven people every day. There are two or three times a year during an election year where the Registrar of Voters Office has to handle a lot of people all day. We do that on a consistent basis."
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