Seattle community court agrees to changes requested by city attorney

Judges with the Seattle Municipal Court have agreed to Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison’s proposed changes to community court, according to a media release from the city of Seattle.

Davison proposed for certain individuals that have been identified as “high utilizers” be excluded from participating in the community court program.

Community court was launched in August 2020 to assist people booked into jail on low-level misdemeanor charges through access to services in the community, instead of sitting in jail.

This would be accomplished by a series of “warm handoffs” from the jail to the court’s pretrial services unit, who could connect people to services utilizing the Community Resource Center.

As a result of the pandemic, people accused of low-level crimes are no longer booked into jail.

Instead, many are cited by the police and then released, most of the time without a future court date.

When a court date is set for these cases, many of the people cannot be reached by mail due to housing, mental health or substance abuse issues.