Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.
Last year residents visited Spokane’s Northeast Community Center more than 200 thousand times.
The Center has its own dental and medical clinics. Inside the Center a SNAP satellite office offers people help managing their power bills.
Now as of December 12th, the people who live in and around Hillyard can also show up at the Center and attend their own Community Court.
“Our whole goal here is to help those who have needs, hold them accountable for their actions, but then, hope we can get them to a better place. That’s what a community court is all about,” explained Judge Mary Logan.
People wind up in Community Court after they are arrested for minor, non-violent offenses.
Instead doing time in our over-crowded jail, defendants have to come to court once a week, stay out of trouble and accept help for the problems that led them astray of the law in the first place.
“This does hold folks accountable. It’s not just booking them into jail, where maybe they sit for a day. They are actually held accountable, they are given resources, they are given the help that they need and they are surrounded by these loving caring people who want them to be successful,” said Police Chief Craig Meidl of the Community Court staff.
If defendants can jump through six months of therapeutic hoops, they graduate from Community Court and the charges against them are dropped by the City Prosecutor’s office.
Police credit Community Court with reducing quality of life crimes in the downtown area and Chief Meidl thinks this problem-solving program will have the same type of positive impact in Northeast Spokane.
Community Court is held Mondays at the downtown Spokane Public Library and Tuesdays at the Northeast Community Center.