What is Community Court?
King County Community Court in Shoreline is an alternative problem-solving court. It seeks to go beyond punishment to identify and address the underlying challenges that may contribute to an individual’s further criminal activity. Court is held in Shoreline City Hall. The setting is less intimidating and allows the judge to be seated at eye-level with people.
The court addresses things like theft, shoplifting, trespassing, and other low-level offenses. Traditionally, individuals are punished for crimes like these. However, the punishment often doesn’t address why the crime is happening. Community Court participants can sign up at the community resource center in the lobby for services such as drug and alcohol treatment, financial/housing assistance, and employment services. This approach allows people to get services that help address the underlying issues that may have led to the criminal activity. Participants are also often required to perform community service to foster community engagement.
How does Community Court Work?
Potential participants are referred by court staff
If they decide to join Community Court, new participants are given an assessment to identify underlying issues that may be contributing to their criminal activity. It also helps to identify their strengths that they can build upon.
Based on that assessment, the participant makes a contract with the court that involves requiring some combination of:
- Tailored social service connections
- Community service work hours
- Weekly hearings to report progress for 4 weeks to 6 months
Upon successful completion of the contract, their charges are dismissed.
Community Resource Center
The community resource center is open to everyone, and service providers can answer your questions and connect you with services.
Resource Center partners can help with:
- DSHS access and applications
- Job training
- Behavioral health
- Substance use disorders
- Library services
- Civil legal matters
- Dispute resolution and mediation
When & Where
Community Court and the Community Resource Center will be available every Tuesday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Shoreline City Hall.