Philly `Gun Court’ experiment ending after 7 years

    Court officials in Philadelphia say shrinking resources have prompted them to end a seven-year experiment with a specialized court for illegal gun possession crimes in the city.

    The so-called “Gun Court” was established in 2005 in response to the large number of firearms violations and a child’s death in a shooting outside his North Philadelphia school.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer said yesterday that the court handled an estimated 800 defendants each year, with 20 probation officers giving intensive supervision to offenders.

    Common Pleas Judge D. Webster Keogh, administrative judge of the trial division, said funds were needed elsewhere, and those officers could no longer be “solely supervising that small population.”

    Officials said they had no data on whether the court succeeded in preventing future gun crimes by the defendants.

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