GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of court and trial employees gathered at the Franklin County Courthouse in Greenfield on Friday.
It was a who’s-who of lawmakers, court officials and community leaders.
The gathering provided an opportunity to celebrate the agencies of justice that make the legal system such a vital democratic public service. Lawmakers say there’s still more work to be done.
“We also have to continue to make sure that people who go through the system can re-enter society in better shape than when they entered the system,” said Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg.
Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan spoke about some of the court’s major achievements.
“On the civil side to make sure that we help people get throughout the process of divorce and custody and guardianship. It’s really highlighting both the civil side of the law and the criminal,” said D.A. Sullivan.
Renderings of Franklin County’s new courthouse were displayed. The new Franklin County Courthouse is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2016. Its currently under construction on Main Street in Grenefield. It’ll have six courtrooms, more than 105,000 square feet of space and it’ll cost $60-million dollars.
“That was unprecedented in Franklin County for a construction project and I think it bodes well for the community for justice in Franklin County,” said Franklin County Register of Probate John Merrigan.
The event also touted the Greenfield Court Service Center. It’s an area inside the Franklin County Courthouse where the public can come to get legal help filling out forms and do self-guided research.
The center has helped more than 1,000 people since it opened in 2014. 70% of those people didn’t have a lawyer.