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- 2012 - September - 17th -

by David Chapman, Staff Writer

 Closing in on four years in office, State Attorney Angela Corey says she is ready for the next four.

“It’s been a great 3 1/2 years so far and I am very blessed I am in for another four,” she told members of the Civic Round Table on Friday.

Corey ran unopposed for her second term and was re-elected in August for a term that begins January.

She said she will continue to lead with energy the 112 attorneys of the office – what she said is the largest law office in Northeast Florida – in pursuing justice.

That doesn’t always mean convictions.

“We’re not there to guarantee a conviction,” Corey said.

In her first four years, she has undertaken several high-profile cases, particularly the Trayvon Martin case Gov. Rick Scott approved her and the Christian Fernandez case, but she said that handling of such cases does not define a career.

“It’s how you handle every case,” she said.

Corey said the job is law enforcement first, but that participating in programs that help people, especially children and teens, not become reoffenders makes them better citizens. It also saves taxpayers money by not paying for incarceration.

“We’re doing both,” she said of the role of the office. “We’re doing it all.”

Corey said that most children and teens that are in trouble at younger ages come from single-parent homes or have a sole guardian and “aren’t worried about disappointing anyone.”

“We have got to work on their structure,” Corey said.

That can mean through ways like “scared straight” programs and Corey mentioned how her office participated in a recent taping of “Beyond Scared Straight.” The show is a documentary that follows “derailed, defiant, and disrespectful teens as they enter immersive jail programs aimed at deterring them from a life of crime,” according to its website, that airs on the A&E channel. The program featuring Jacksonville aired Aug. 27.

Corey said that she hates the “homicide capital” label the city has attained in the past and that though the label is gone and the rate is down, it will not be ideal “until it’s zero.”

And while the murder rate is down, she said she has been troubled by the amount of violent crime committed by females, which has recently risen.

She told the group that information and communication is key and office actions and news on trials can be found at the office’s website, sao4th.com.

Asked during a question-and-answer session, Corey called the new courthouse “beautiful” but did not mention her office’s upcoming home at the old federal courthouse.

The City recently received bids for the anticipated $25 million project and construction start is anticipated for late October or early November, according to City Public Works Director Jim Robinson, in an August Daily Record story.

“We are hopeful that the process will begin soon. We’re committed to getting the building done effectively while trying to save the taxpayers money,” Corey said of the move, following the Friday lunch meeting.

dchapman@baileypub.com

356-2466

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