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Breaking the cycle: Community court provides access to justice, social services

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Breaking the cycle: Community court provides access to justice, social services

Breaking the cycle: Community court provides access to justice, social services

Every Monday morning, the first floor of the downtown Spokane library doubles as a courtroom and under Judge Mary Logan's watch, the court serves the same purpose any would- access to justice.

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Breaking the cycle: Community court provides access to justice, social services

Tonight... we're continuing our conversation..

About homelessness in spokane.

And part of examining every possible way this issue affects this community.

..is looking at the legal system.

And a cycle that some people who are homeless..

Can get caught up in.

Say they get booked for a low level, quality of life crime..

Like malicious mischief, trespassing..

Or a violation of the sit and lie ordinance..

They'll move through the traditional court system..

Maybe serve some time-they get out- but without access to housing or health care or education- the cycle repeats itself... but not at the downtown spokane library.

Kxly 4's caroline rourke... shares how an experimental court project ... addresses this community problem.

Community courts are a kind of therapeutic court... but the staff at the one in downtown spokane..

Will tell you..

It's mostly a problem solving court.

Born from the desire to challenge the status quo..

In a way that balances the concerns of our community that bears the weight of low level..

Quality of life offenses... but... also fosters the growth and support required... for people to break out of the cycle.

Every mondaya&amp; the downtown spokane library doubles as a courtroom.a&amp; judge mary logan's priority in community court is the same as it would be..

In her municipal courtroom.

31;27access to justice.

(1)while that does mean justice for crime victims, things work a little differently here.20;58how do we make everybody that's here in the city of spokane feel welcome, feel as though it is their city and not simply because you have money in your pocket.

(8) this court prioritizes offenders- instead of offenses.

32;28 loganit isn't just a charge that comes in it's a human being that comes in.44;59 mubarakour goal is to help you through this situation so we don't see you in the justice system anymore.

(6)these are participants, not defendants.

Not all of them are homeless, but many area&amp; and they're at this court by choice- to take responsibility for their low level offensesa&amp;.

But alsoa&amp; to access the wealth of social services... offered next door 44;34 hardinthey're available every monday whether of not the participant is on the docket at community court.

They are down here to help them.

(9)they can access healthcare, get an i-d..

Get signed up for housinga&amp; the things they need to get them unstuck- 8;49 francis homelessness is more than just not being housed.

You can get somebody housed and they are still poor- they're going to lose the house.

8) the goal being- give them what they need..

..

So when they graduate the program, they have a better chance.

4;48we are able to dig down, dig deep and make sure that we are able to provide services that ensure that they do not keep coming back repeatedly to court.

(11)but for it to work- the community as a whole has to dig downa&amp; to reach past the parts of homelessness..

That we see.

28;51to think that a single label really captures the population- it's easy to do that.(5)29; 30there isn't a single defining individual that actually fits under the label of homeless or homelessness (9)no single definition ..

And no single solution.problem solving courts like this one..

Play one part..

Of many.

9;37 community court should not be looked at as the place to solve this problem, the community s the place to solve the problem we all have to come together we all have to provide....???.....support (10) 13;56we have done a lot, we have invested in people but there is still a lot of work to be done.

(5) those other wheels in the community are turning.

I spoke to a local nonprofit..

That said housing for spokane's homeless..

Needs to be the number one priority.

The smith barbieiri progressive fund shared..

Their ideas..

And their requests for local government- you'll hear from them tomorrow.

In studio, I'm Caroline Rourke, KXLY 4 News.




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