The Seattle Municipal Court Probation unit is the largest in the state of Washington. We monitor non-domestic violence (DV) cases such as DUI, Theft, Non DV Assault, Property Destruction, MIP etc. The probation officers have extensive experience dealing with drug addiction, mental illness and other disorders. We strive to decrease recidivism and ensure community safety by helping defendants utilize services/programs in the community to better their lives.
The Seattle Municipal Court and Probation have created numerous programs to assist defendants in the community: GED program, resume assistance, Theft awareness class etc. SMC also has a Court Resource Center available to defendants and to the public and offers information on housing, DSHS benefits, alcohol and drug treatment and many other services. There are numerous volunteers that assistant defendants to fill out housing applications, find shelter, sober support meetings etc.
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The Pre-trial Diversion Program (PDP) is a program offered at the discretion of the Seattle City Attorney's Office. It may be offered to defendants without significant prior criminal records who have been charged with certain offenses. The program requires a defendant to complete a specific set of requirements, and upon successful completion the defendant's charges will be dismissed. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, in addition to paying court, clerk, program fees, defendants must meet additional obligations. Defendants may be required to do community service and pay restitution where appropriate.
The Community Service Program is designed to provide a way for defendants to repay either infraction or criminal financial obligations to the community through service rather than financial payment. For defendants, this provides an alternative means of repaying financial debt. For the Court, the goal of offering the program is twofold: first, to provide a service to the public and second, to avoid uncollectible debt. Community Service is also used to hold defendants accountable for violating criminal laws as an alternative to jail.
Community service sites are selected by the SMC Community Service Coordinator, based on whether an agency is safe, legitimately serves the community, and provides appropriate supervision. The agency worksites should be a non profit and tax exempt charitable organization (501c.3). Among other selection criteria, the agency does not supplant paid workers and agrees to consider referrals from SMC without regard to race, color, gender sexual orientation, religion, national origin, creed, marital status, age, or presence of sensory or mental disability.
The Community Service Program is a key part of SMC's efforts at restorative justice.
Day Reporting has two components: pre-adjudication and post conviction.
Pre-sentence Day Reporting is an alternative to confinement for persons who do not have the money to post bail or for persons who have had a poor history of court compliance.
A goal of the Pre-sentence Day Reporting is to reduce jail costs. Judges allow defendants - pending their court date - to report daily to the day reporting program until their court date or until their court ordered obligation is complete.
While on day reporting, client's needs are assessed. They can be referred to services such as DSHS for food, medical care, and chemical dependency treatment. Additionally, day reporting clients are referred to our Resource Center for housing referrals, GED program resume preparation, and court ordered classes.
Post conviction Day Reporting is focused on those that have been convicted. The program works closely with the probation counselor to bring about positive change. This is achieved through a combination of accountability measures while working with the defendant to acquire services.
One of the primary goals of day reporting is to stabilize the defendant by providing assistance with substance abuse; mental health; and housing. Our courts have used the program as a sanction for non compliance: drug and alcohol use; failure to participate in treatment; and failure to perform community service. The program is also used to monitor behavior pending placement in substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment.