Aberdeen, WA – Aberdeen Municipal Court Administrator Tammy Sund announced to KXRO that this month, the Aberdeen Community Court celebrated a milestone.
According to a release, the court was implemented to reduce crime, recidivism and jail costs and has been in operation for 2.5 years.
Sund says that based on the number of charges before and after entering Community Court, the program currently reduces recidivism by 81%t and significantly reduces victimization costs and jail costs.
She adds that the diversion of these cases to Community Court has saved the City $76,250 in public defender costs, over $175,000 in jail costs and public defender costs, and a total community value estimate of $315,406.92.
“In addition to the considerable cost savings described above and the community benefits that arise from citizens engaged in law-abiding behavior, participants are actively giving back to the City.”
All participants are required to perform community service or pay the monetary equivalent and have reportedly performed a total of over 900 community service hours.
“The Community Court program is thriving. Our biggest challenge is offering the program to the large number of defendants who need our services. Due to this high demand, a second caseworker was added in 2018. It is the intensive case management provided by these caseworkers, along with regular court reviews, which optimizes success for the participants.”
Aberdeen Community Court is supported by a variety of local social service agencies which gather weekly at the Services Entry Event to offer participants, and any community member who attends, a wide array of services to address hunger, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, substance use, and other needs.
The Services Entry Event is held on Thursdays from 1:30-3:00 at the CCAP building.
“The court strongly urges any community members in need to utilize this convenient and helpful service.”
Community Court is held on Mondays at 2:30 at the Aberdeen Courthouse.