Aberdeen, WA – Aberdeen Community Court, the City’s problem-solving therapeutic court implemented to reduce crime, recidivism, and jail costs, marked its fourth successful year in February.
According to a release from the City of Aberdeen, there were one hundred and thirty-nine graduates as of that date, all of whom completed individualized Action Plans to address the root causes of their criminal behavior.
They say that the program currently reduces recidivism by 85 percent and significantly reduces costs to victims and the city.
Aberdeen’s savings in jail costs and public defender costs total over $225,000 and they estimate the total community value is over $750,000.
In addition to the considerable cost savings and the benefits from these citizens engaging in law-abiding behavior, participants are actively giving back to the City as all participants are required to perform community service or pay the monetary equivalent.
The city says that participants have performed over 1,000 community service hours, valued at over $11,500.
They say the Community Court program is thriving and continues to diligently reach out to individuals in the system who express a desire to change behavior but struggle to achieve this on their own.
During the public health crisis, the mission has not changed.
Judicial Coordinator Joey Bannish of the Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) continues to assist program participants and report to the court.
He conducts weekly check-ins and engages in intensive case management, both of which optimize outcomes for the participants.
Telephonic conferences and social distancing have been implemented as recommended by public health officials.
Aberdeen Community Court is supported by a variety of local social service agencies which offer participants a wide array of services to address hunger, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, substance use, and other needs.
Prior to the pandemic, these agencies staffed a Services Entry Event for participants and the community at large on Thursdays from 1:30-3:00 at the CCAP building.
However, due to the public health crisis, this event has been suspended until it is safe to restart.
The court urges citizens in need to contact these agencies directly.
Community Court is currently held on Tuesdays at 1:30 over Zoom.
Citizens may call the court or consult the court’s website for further information.
For questions about this release, please contact Joey Bannish, Judicial Coordinator, at 360-660-5018 or Tammy Sund, Court Administrator, at 360-533-5411.