New courthouse symbolizes criminal justice reform

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:00 am

by William Crum


Finished in glass, wood and stone, Oklahoma City's new municipal courthouse is a physical manifestation of an enlightened era in criminal justice.

At a dedication ceremony Monday, Presiding Judge Philippa James said Municipal Court reforms of the past several years are intended "to make our work more about those who appear here and less about intimidation."

"This new building," she said, "was designed with many of those improvements in mind."

Along with the downtown police headquarters dedicated in 2015, the new Municipal Court building replaces aging and inefficient law enforcement and justice facilities.

Its opening puts further distance between Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County, which has tried without success to find solutions for its troubled jail.

"We have maintained traditional courtroom decor with 21st century technology," James said.

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