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Council supports sales tax holiday

By By Janet Little Cooper
The tribal court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians has been awarded $180,933 from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.
"This is good news for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians," Congressman Jo Bonner said after announcing the funding. "I applaud the Department of Justice for funding this worthy program."
The grant is to support the development, implementation, enhancement, and continuing operation of tribal justice systems. The project will enable the court to develop procedures and personnel manuals to provide consistent practices, procedures, and policies for court staff as well as monitor, track, and assess a community justice program for adult and juvenile probationers.
"We are really excited about this grant," Tribal court director Keesha O'Barr said. "We are getting building security such as a walk through metal detector and security cameras for the complex. We will also have a digital recording system for the courtroom."
Another addition to the Tribal court being made possible due to the grant is the addition of a public defender and a full time Tribal court clerk.
"The public defender will be a tremendous help to the people who cannot afford an attorney," O'Barr said. "People can represent themselves in those cases, but the addition of a public defender will help a lot."
The Tribal court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians began in 1987 under the leadership of Judge Ernest Ray White. The court handles civil, juvenile, traffic, criminal and drug proceedings each week.