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Interview with Helen and Leon

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Helen: I lost my unemployment at that time and there was a warrant issued for my arrest for nonpayment of child support. I was picked up on that warrant and placed in corrections. I didn't have to go through pre-sentencing. I never had to witness first hand to any pre- sentencing.
Leon: After your arrest you either get bailed out or incarcerated. I couldn't make bail so they took me to jail. It can take a few months to actually be sentenced for your offense, and Warren county in particular takes their sweet time.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Helen: I was driving home from somewhere and I was pulled over by an officer for obstruction of view. I was arrested and taken to Washington Police Barracks. I was then picked up by the sheriffs department and placed in the back of their car. The hand cuffs were tight and it caused bruising on my wrists and on my back from the cuffs rubbing.
Leon: I was arrested after I stole some things and sold them to a pawn shop in Hackettstown. They found me hanging out in a Laundromat because I was homeless.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Helen: I didn't have to go through the court proceedings. I made a phone call to my case worker and told her that I lost my unemployment and was looking for a job but they still issued a warrant for my arrest. My license was suspended too and I was unaware of it.
Leon: Court went pretty slow. The judge I had talked slowly and basically took he time, but she was very fair.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Helen: My charges were non payment of child support and I was released only after a few days in jail.
Leon: My original charges were burglary, receiving stolen property and possession of a hypodermic needle. I had the burglary dropped but was convicted on the last two.

Read about sentencing in the Warren County Corrections

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