Ed Murray, Mayor
6/8/2010 1:00:00 PM
Kimberly Mills (206) 684-8602
The spring issue of the Seattle Community Court newsletter is now available at http://www.seattle.gov/communitycourt/newsletter/
Leading off the issue is an interview with City Attorney Peter S. Holmes in which he praises the nationally known model of justice as “an example of good government, trying something different when the same old course that leads to the same result is not working."
He notes the Court sees “a lot of low-level petty drug offenses that suggest chemical dependency, alcoholism and so forth. People perpetrate those crimes, not because they are engaging in criminal activity for personal gain, but because they have these other problems. Until we address these problems, we are going to just have people cycling in and out of incarceration, returning to the streets repeating the same misconduct. Community Court is a way of trying to break that cycle.”
The court celebrated its fifth anniversary in March. Through the end of 2009, 3,391 defendants opted into the program, completed 36,022 hours of service to the community, and made more than 5,000 social services contacts to help with unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness and other barriers to healthy lifestyles, reports program coordinator Stephanie Tschida.
Additionally, 2,045 first time offenders participating in the Pretrial Diversion Program completed 13,414 hours of community service, for a grand total of 49,436 (Pretrial Diversion and Community Court combined) community service hours giving back to neighborhoods across the city.