By all accounts, Ontario County’s centralized arraignment system has worked well since it started on May 1, 2018.
“The real benefit is that all parties are at every arraignment — someone from our office, the public defender’s office, the judge,” District Attorney Jim Ritts said. “That was always one of the shortcomings of the old system in the local courts — a prosecutor or defense attorney may not be there.”
Seneca County followed Ontario’s lead about three months later, and Yates County followed suit last October. More recently, Wayne County began centralized arraignments earlier this year.
While those arraignments at the county jails will continue for certain crimes, there will be fewer of them once the state’s bail reform legislation kicks in Jan. 1, 2020. While Ritts and Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson said there are some positives when it comes to bail reform, they have some concerns as well.