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Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten talks unintended consequences of reforms

Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten says new criminal justice reforms have had unintended consequences.

As result, his office is seeking a state grant to help pay for them.

Van Houten said the laws are having a profound impact on the county, as they’ve had to restructure their office and hire people to keep up with the workload, according to NewsChannel9.

He spoke with them about the impact the criminal justice reforms passed last year have had on his office.

One unintended consequence – added bandwidth. His office alone is using up the entire county’s bandwidth, which is resulting in added cost.

They may have to buy a separate network to handle all of the evidence that must be stored and computed in a set amount of time under the changes.

“We’ve discovered a couple of things that we are trying to address and just taking it one day at a time, but I think everybody across the state is worried about how this is going to affect the system long term,” said Van Houten.

He says the issue isn’t what is being asked for in terms of information being provided to the defense. Rather it’s the timeline that the law creates for turning that information over.

He said it goes too far.


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