FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Fulton County District Attorney’s office is presenting its annual Court Watch training June 1.
The free course is designed to help citizens understand the judicial process and local criminal justice system. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet prosecutors and hear guest speakers.
“[The participants] get a lot out of it because they’re able to see first-hand what goes on in court,” Court Watch Director Kyrstal Lunsford said. “Oftentimes, you see that someone is arrested and then you don’t hear back what happens.”
The Citizens’ Court Watch program encourages the community to attend court proceedings and, when deemed appropriate by the court, provide a community impact statement during trials.
When the judge sees that there are community members who care about the outcome of a trial, it can affect sentencing, Lunsford said.
“It’s designed to give community members a voice,” Lunsford said. “Often times in the court system, we hear the defense side, we hear from the prosecutorial side, but we never get to hear from those community members who actually live there.”
Lunsford helps citizens track cases that are of interest to their community. The Court Watch program is trying to recruit more North Fulton citizens.
“I realize it is further away, but I don’t see a lot of active participants in the Court Watch program from that area,” Lunsford said. “I really want to get them to come to the training so they can find out what it is so they can get more involved.”
The training will be June 1 from 10 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. at 141 Pryor Street. There will be free food for attendees.
To register, visit annualcourtwatchtraining.eventbrite.com.