Nashville is starting a “one-stop” booking system to avoid repeat court visits in minor cases like this: A retired school principal was on her way back to Florida Dec. 29 when airport police found .31 grams of marijuana in her suitcase. The woman, 65, said she had no idea how the pot got there. She was ordered to return to court in February. The Tennessean says that two-step booking process, rare in the U.S., is riddled with inefficiency and wastes taxpayer money, local judges say. Many people do not show up for their second appearances, forcing authorities to spend time re-arresting and processing them.
Under the planned one-stop process, the retired principal would have her fingerprints and mug shot taken on the same day as her court date, then immediately go before a judge. Officials hope the new process will reduce the number of people who fail to show up for their court appearances. “We found out that the number one reason people come to jail in this county is for failing to appear for something else,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said. About 20 percent of arrest warrants for failing to appear involve people who are booked at the station, but then don’t show up later in court. Once the “one stop shop” is open, getting a misdemeanor citation will be like getting a traffic ticket.