SMC Connected

SMC Connected, Community Needs-Based Court Engaged Diversion, is an innovative program that expands on 11 years of success with Seattle Community Court. SMC Connected seeks to restore justice in the community and rehabilitate offenders through partnership with community and social service programs, rather than days in jail.

How SMC Connected Works

At sentencing, a judge may elect to impose a "needs-based" sentence by referring the individual to participate in a needs assessment. The assessment provides the judge with additional considerations including recommended treatment and social service referrals along with restorative sentencing options. Rather than imposing jail time or a financial penalty for low-level crimes, the judge may impose a deferred sentence, under which the individual must perform community service and participate in social service opportunities to address their underlying needs. Upon completion of these obligations, the individual's case will be dismissed. While restoring harm caused to the community, a deferred sentence also preserves an individual's opportunity for future success by not adding a criminal conviction to their record. A single criminal conviction may have significant impacts on an individual's future success including impacting their ability to secure housing, employment, public benefits, and immigration status.

Who is Eligible

Judges have discretion to impose a needs based sentence in any case they preside over.