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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — People who serve on juries are sometimes exposed to graphic or traumatizing evidence, and now North Carolina wants to help them cope with that responsibility.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Administrative Office of the Courts has started a statewide pilot program to help jurors who experience emotional or psychological problems because of what they see in court.

Jurors in trials with evidence that might cause distress will be given a toll-free number to contact a licensed mental health professional. They can arrange for one assessment over the phone or in person. If jurors need a follow-up visit, they’ll be referred to local providers.

The cost for the pilot program is just under $14,000. The state kept costs down by including it in an existing employee assistance program.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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