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Inmates housed in Bladen County Jail for years before trial


BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The Bladen County Jail has been housing inmates for years before the prisoners see a courtroom.

The Bladen County Jail is home to some people who are charged with violent crimes, including robbery, rape and murder.

Ryan Smithwick is a local attorney running for District Attorney. Over the weekend he posted a story on his campaigns Facebook page that says violent crime has increased in Bladen County, but District Attorney Jon David says there's more to the story.

"As District Attorney I could not be more proud of the team that I have in place in Bladen County. They are doing a wonderful job," said David.

Since his election in 2010, District Attorney Jon David says he's seen crime drop significantly in Brunswick and Columbus County's, but not in Bladen County.

"If we look at efficiency numbers district wide is our efficiency is improving dramatically even as conviction rates are going up," said David.

David says more inmates remain behind bars for a longer period of time for several reasons including; attorney changes, continuances and the back log at the state laboratory.

"When folks are in jail that means we are maximizing a resource too. It means the community is protected from them while their cases are pending," said David.

In a statement on Monday, Smithwick says, "Cases need to be tried and sent to the Department of Corrections, which would save local tax payers money and would send a message to violent criminals."

District Attorney Jon David says two of the inmates who have been in jail for several years will head to trial next week.

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