Budget Crisis Hits Courtrooms 

Maine’s budget crisis is forcing cuts in

security at the state’s courts, a trend that’s causing concern

among court leaders and legislators.

The judiciary had planned to hire 10 additional security

officers last year, but the move was scrapped as the state moved

further into the red. The situation has since gotten worse because

of a freeze on filling the positions of court officers who have

retired or left for other reasons.

The officers, known formally as marshals, screen for weapons and

provide other security duties at courts in 10 Maine counties. In

the other six counties, the state contracts with sheriffs’

departments for security details.

The judicial branch is authorized to have 63 marshals, but as of

last week only 46 were employed.