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Prosecuting and defending criminals costly for taxpayer

By Walter Geiger Crime may not pay but prosecuting, sentencing and managing those who commit crimes are definitely a thorn in the wallets of Lamar County taxpayers. The Lamar County commission approved July 21 a slimmed down budget for paying its portion of the cost of operating the Towaliga Judical Circuit. After months of negotiations, Lamar was able to cut its portion of the budget by nearly $8000 but courts are still expensive. The total budget for circuit judges is $303,173.48 while that for the district attorney’s office is $537,983.06 once victims’ services costs are added in. The total juvenile judge’s budget is $96,434.57 for a grand total of $937,591.11. Lamar cases amount to 23% of those heard by judges, 19.8% of those handled by the DA’s office and 22.7% of those run through juvenile courts. The county approved Lamar’s portion of the total Towaliga budget at $253,701.26 or 27% of the total circuit budget.

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