Community Court seeks to reduce and properly address quality of life offenses by utilizing a collaborative, problem-solving approach to crime. Community Court promotes participant accountability while helping them avoid future involvement in the criminal justice system by connecting participants to needed services or treatment.
Principles of Community Court
- Individualized justice
- Improve quality of life for participants and the community
- Promote fair, equitable and responsive policies
- Find family and community-oriented solutions
- Expand employment and education opportunities
- Community and neighborhood improvement through sustainable environmental awareness and action
How it works
Police officers will cite eligible offenses into Community Court at the next available court date. A prosecutor will screen the citation to ensure the case is appropriate. Example of eligible offenses include:
- Criminal Trespass 2 (RCW 9A.52.080)
- Disorderly Conduct (RCW 9A.84.030)
- Intoxicating Liquor in the Park (VMC 15.04.120)
- Park Curfew Violation (VMC 15.04.150)
- Pedestrian Interference (VMC 7.04.020)
- Unlawful Bus Conduct (VMC 7.13.040)
- Unlawful Camping (VMC 8.22.040)
- Unlawful Storage of Personal Property in Public (VMC 8.22.050)
- Unlawful Transit Conduct (RCW 9.91.025)
- Urinating in Public (VMC 7.10.020)
Additional cases may be referred from the arraignment docket if deemed eligible for Community Court.
If you have been cited to appear in Community Court, a court appointed attorney will be available at arraignment to discuss the process, review the police report, and provide advice prior to entering the program.
In addition to work crew assigned directly from the court, you will have a needs assessment, where you will be immediately required to meet and participate with providers to help you navigate services such as:
- Mental/behavioral health/trauma therapy
- Valid identification
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/disability
Charges will be dismissed if program conditions are successfully completed. Failure to appear or participate will mean a warrant and the case will return to “regular” court.
Prosecutors can refer other charges, if necessary, to courts such as Substance Abuse Court, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Court who can better serve more serious charges and individuals who may need longer term services.
When is Community Court?
Community Court is held on Monday at 9 a.m. (except on public holidays) at The Recovery Café, 3312 E Fourth Plain Boulevard.
- Clark County
- Clark County Veterans Assistance Center
- Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program
- Columbia River Mental Health
- Council for Homeless
- Ideal Options
- Recovery Café
- Sea-Mar Community Health Centers
- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services