The expressed purpose of the Justice Center was to bring together all components of the criminal justice system (actually the talk originally was all courts) in order to save costs. Yet in an apparent attempt to reduce the cost of the building, and undoubtedly more greatly enrich the contractor needlessly engaged to act as landlord, convenience for hundreds of workers in the criminal justice system has been eliminated.
Incredibly, the complex will not include office space for prosecutors or public defenders, who will presumably be forced to commute from their current downtown offices to the near west side site instead of the one-block walk they currently enjoy to the City-County Building. Elimination of law offices for prosecutors and public defenders saved the need for 185,000 square feet, or about 12% of the original space need. A juvenile court and detention facility replacing the current east side juvenile center got axed as well. That saved 130,000 square feet, or about 9% from what was originally proposed.
Proposed Indianapolis Justice Center Complex
I've long been in favor of a new judicial center. But when it comes to this particular project, it is time for the Indianapolis City-County Council to pull the plug and for the project to begin anew with the next mayor. The Justice Center has become nothing more than a final attempt by the corrupt Ballard administration to put the maximum amount of taxpayer money in the pockets of a politically-connected company that hired the right lobbyists and lawyers.
In the meantime, I would strongly encourage people to read through Welch's numerous stories about the Justice Center at Advance Indiana.