Philly budget hearings continue with courts asking for more money

Despite Philadelphia’s budget troubles, there’s no shortage of city departments asking for more money. 

Family Court Judge Kevin Dougherty says Philadelphia courts are expanding to help prevent crime on the streets. Staff members are intervening with kids who look like they’re going to get in trouble again.

“We have now two units that are no longer case management per se but are actually assisting the Philadelphia Police and any other law enforcement agency when it’s necessary to retrieve children or juveniles who decide to break the law at will,” said Dougherty.

The court system is asking for $4 million more than this year. Ellen Greenlee of the Defender’s Association of Philadelphia also is requesting more. It would go to bring salaries in the her office up to what DA’s and City Solicitors earn.

“It is estimated that we would need about $6.5 million, to close the gap,” said Greenlee, “which should give you some sense of the great disparity that exists in terms of compensation that defender employees that are working in the very same courtrooms that the District Attorneys are, are subject to.”

Mayor Nutter’s proposed budget does not include extra money for either group.


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