Judicial forum show similar views from candidatesOct 21st, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: News
Jeanne Juneau and Kim Jones—both of whom are vying for the position of 34th Judicial District Division B Judge—voiced their surprisingly similar opinions in a political forum last Friday.
The forum was hosted by the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, who also provided the questions to which each candidate responded.
“We have a drug epidemic in St. Bernard,” said Jones. “My plan is to educate juveniles about the harmful effects of drugs.”
Jones said she plans on establishing a special office, in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department’s juvenile division, that will provide educational tools that can teach kids about drug abuse. She also wants to make this information available to children of all ages.
“We have programs [like D.A.R.E.] for the elementary students,” said Jones “but none for middle and high schoolers.”
Juneau shares the same basic opinion and wishes to implement a program called “Above the Influence.”
“This would be a program geared towards addressing teenagers,” said Juneau.
She says that Sheriff Pohlmann is fully supportive of this idea.
“Drug abuse is the root of crime,” said Juneau.
She expressed that the Sheriff’s Department, parents, schools, churches, etc. “need to work together to get this job [reducing crime] done.
Jones, who agrees with the Juneau’s cooperative approach, also wishes to continue the use of the Drug Court system to educate children.
They both agree that constant education is a major factor when it comes to preventing drug use and juvenile crime.
Both candidates feel that the Parish’s court system is very successful and runs quite smoothly, but may need a bit of tweaking to reach its full potential when it comes to cutting judicial costs.
“Cost can be reduced by having a quick and efficient court system,” said Jones. “We can improve our system by removing meritless suits.”
“I would make sure that the fees are collected when due,” said Juneau. “A lot of times the court fees are not collected on time.”
Setting Bail Amounts
Jones and Juneau agree that a person’s criminal background will play a large role when it comes to setting that person’s bail.
“Every judge has to look at the facts of the case,” said Jones.
“I would look at the person’s history and what brought them to the court,” said Juneau. “These are the factors I would consider when setting a bail amount.”
“If you have a repeat offender,” said Jones. “Setting a higher bond will hopefully keep that person off the streets. My courtroom will not be a revolving door.”
“I feel like I’m fully experienced to take on the job of Judge,” said Jones. “I am the more experienced candidate, and I’ve handled more cases. I’ve handled my own civil cases and my own criminal cases.”
Juneau challenged this statement by saying “[She] has amassed over 1,000 cases.” She also brought up her term as Parish Attorney, stating that her experience in handling fire department cases and construction cases, to site a few, trumps the overall experience of Jones in those areas.
Both women closed out the forum by stating that they believe that the law, and judges, can make a difference in people’s lives and that they would both be honored to be chosen as St. Bernard’s first female judge.
The victor will be filling the seat vacated by Judge Manuel “Manny” Fernandez, which expires in 2014. The position is currently being held by Judge Bobby Klees on an interim basis, until a successor is chosen.
Elections will be held on Saturday, October 19.