Southside leaders working to bring local pre-trial, probation services

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Several communities in the Southside have been operating without certain legal services.

Martinsville, Henry, Franklin and Patrick counties have never had community-based pre-trial and local probation services.

That means, there is no one locally to investigate a case before the arraignment, bond hearings or if someone is out on probation.

Leaders in Martinsville say this creates an issue with jail capacity and prevents some from getting back to work.

"To integrate them back into the fabric of the daily community," Leon Towarnicki, Martinsville city manager, said. "So this is an effort to do that, it gets them out of jail, it frees up space, so ultimately it could save the city money."

Through the help of a state grant and partnering agencies in Halifax there will be someone assigned to the position and offices placed in the three areas.

Amherst and Appomattox are also without the services.