Eligible Seattle Community Court defendants are given an offer to join the program in lieu of taking the traditional path through the court system. Once they accept the offer, they are given a comprehensive assessment to ascertain their needs. If they need help with public benefits, housing, employment, education, Native American or Veterans services, or substance abuse treatment, a recommendation is made and the judge orders them to make a linkage with service providers that can help them.
|Community Court Social Services partnership organizations provide support and resources that help participants overcome their barriers, addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, or chemical dependency.|
|Community Court participants are also required to complete community service hours at one of our 25 partner sites , with the number of hours determined by the sentencing framework.|
Defendants are able to enter the program up to three times at the discretion of the City Attorney's Office. Each time their required hours increase according to the following sentencing framework which was developed by the Community Court Advisory Board.
|1st Community Court Case||2nd Community Court Case||3rd Community Court Case|
|Gross Misdemeanor||Community Service||2 days||4 days||6 days|
|Jail Alternative||5 days||10 days||15 days|
|Misdemeanor||Community Service||2 days||3 days||4 days|
|Jail Alternative||4 days||6 days||8 days|
Certain repeat offenders who are making their first appearance in Community Court are offered a dispositional continuance. If they complete all of their requirements, their offense is removed from their record.
Pre-Trial Diversion is offered to first time offenders who can divert out of the traditional justice track through completing community service and staying out of trouble for 90 days. They are also given a needs assessment, and required to make contact with social services organizations that can help them. If they complete their requirements, the charge will be dismissed.