First trials open at new Marion County Criminal Justice Campus | ICIN

The new campus, located at 675 Justice Way, now houses the courts and the jail.

INDIANAPOLIS — The first day of jury trials at the new Marion County Community Justice Campus in Indianapolis were held Monday.

The new campus, located at 675 Justice Way in the Twin Aires neighborhood, now houses the courts and the jail.

One concern many judges had in the past was getting potential jurors to show up for jury duty.

“We did summon 100 jurors in today and 127 people appeared, which is wonderful, and I had the opportunity to welcome them to our new courthouse and tell them how much we appreciate them for appearing for jury service,” said Superior Court Judge Heather Welch.

Welch said it could be a sign of what’s to come. 

She was the presiding judge when the pandemic hit. The state’s largest court system had to make modifications and put trials on hold. 

“Jury trials were suspended for some time, beginning in March 2020 through August 17, 2020. Then they resumed for September, October and November. But again suspended from December 14, 202 through the end of February of 2021,” Welch said.

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Before the pandemic hit, Welch said about 35% to 45% of people summoned for jury duty showed up to court. During the pandemic, those numbers were between 10% and 12%. 

“They are rising. Most recently, our last trial at the City-County Building, we were at around 25%, so I think we’re getting back to pre-COVID numbers, which we’re really happy about because we still do have many trials that need to be tried, both on the criminal and civil side,” Welch said.

RELATED: Courts begin transition to Marion County Community Justice complex

Welch said the new Criminal Justice Campus not only has free parking, but also technology that makes it easy for Hoosiers to navigate. 

Juvenile cases will be held at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center on North Keystone Avenue. 

The new Criminal Justice Campus has a mental health and addiction treatment center, an Adult Detention Center, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County Courthouse and office buildings.

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