The Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Tuesday opened up the application process for volunteers who are interested in a yearlong commitment to the 2020-21 civil grand jury, which investigates various aspects of local government, including cities and county special districts.
Principal functions of civil grand jurors include investigation and review of the departments and special districts of county and city governments, involvement in fiscal and management audits and preparing reports on related matters, according to Darrell Parker, Superior Court executive officer.
In the past, grand jurors have investigated the Main Jail, schools. community services districts and even local ballot initiatives.
Civil grand jury reports are usually filed with recommendations for improvement of operations.
To be considered for grand jury service, an applicant must be 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen, of good character, a resident of Santa Barbara County for a least one year and never convicted of a felony, or malfeasance in office or official misconduct while serving as a public employee.
Another $5 million was allocated Tuesday for construction of the Northern Branch Jail, plus another $5.4 million was set aside for contingencies, this fiscal year by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
This year's grand jury term begins July 1 and will continue through June 30, 2021, and jurors work about 25 hours per week.
The Superior Court published a short YouTube video on the grand jury, which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/dRfQ8d1ME3A.
Applications can be obtained by calling the court’s jury services office in Santa Barbara at 805-882-4530 or Santa Maria at 805-614-6464 and on the court’s website at www.sbcourts.org.
Applications will be accepted no later than Friday, May 1, and should be mailed to Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Jury Services, 1108 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
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