Times have changed, Hampden County Hall of Justice has not kept up

Courthouse is aging, has backlog of cases

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – People who work at the Hampden County Hall of Justice in Springfield say that the facilities are antiquated. There are two major issues: the building itself, and the caseload faced by court employees.

The Hampden County Hall of Justice was built in 1974: the age of paper, not computers. Lawmakers at a legislative breakfast Friday morning told 22News that it will likely take the entire western Massachusetts delegation to get enough funding to build a new courthouse.

Inside the courthouse, Superior Court Chief Justice Judith Fabricant told 22News it is not operating as efficiently as it was when it was built. They have a backlog of criminal cases and a lack of staffing resulting from a lack of financial resources. She told 22News that modern courthouses have a better flow and more security.

“There are serious criminal cases being handled in Superior Court in Hampden County. It’s important that we have the facilities that are necessary so that we can handle those cases securely and efficiently,” Fabricant said.

Some 755 criminal superior court cases were handled at the Hall of Justice in 2016. That is more than even Suffolk County, which includes Boston.