- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) - A supervisory judge in a western Pennsylvania county says hearings for those entering a diversion program designed for first-time, nonviolent offenders will be open to the public from now on.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/1vACCoI ) that Indiana County President Judge William Martin said closed-door hearings for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program weren’t proper.

Martin says those hearings will no longer be held by the Probation Department. He’s changing procedures that date back to the late 1990s.

The newspaper says it questioned the closed-door nature of the hearings after a district judge was allowed into ARD for her involvement in a hit-and-run accident.

Defendants who successfully complete a period of supervision under the ARD program can seek to have their charges expunged.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com

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