To build stronger and safer neighborhoods and help prevent repeat of criminal behavior, the City of Kenmore has partnered with King County District Court to join the Shoreline Community Court.
The Shoreline/Kenmore Community Court is an alternative, problem-solving court that differs from traditional courts by seeking to identify and address the underlying challenges of court participants that may contribute to further criminal activity. An accompanying resource center connects participants and community members to an array of services.
“Sometimes the traditional criminal justice system does not address the root causes of the criminal behavior,” said Kenmore Mayor Nigel Herbig in a press release. “In the case of non-violent offenders with mental health issues, substance abuse issues, or other challenges, if we can step in and provide better assistance and access to more services that can help break the cycle, we can make Kenmore safer for everyone.”
Community court participants are charged with low-level, quality of life crimes. Examples include disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, vehicle prowl and minor in possession. Driving-related cases are not currently eligible, and participants must not have any violent felony convictions in the last five years; any pending violent felony charges; or a sex offender history.
“Community court provides a way to address the root cause of the criminal activity while providing accountability," says Judge Matthew York, King County District Court Chief Presiding Judge in a press release. "Some people need help to get through tough times, and if we can prevent the circumstances that caused the criminal activity at the same time, everyone wins” “Having been a community court judge myself, I’ve seen the powerful difference the program can make in people’s lives. It holds people responsible for their actions while also helping them to help themselves.”
King County District Court Judge Karama H. Hawkins hears cases at the Shoreline/Kenmore Community Court on Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Shoreline City Hall (17500 Midvale Ave N, Shoreline).
The community resource center, co-located with the Shoreline/Kenmore Community Court, connects court participants – and anyone else in the community – to services that will help address their needs and give them a chance to have a better outcome.
The resource center is open on Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Shoreline City Hall and includes community partners that provide services such as healthcare/insurance, education, job training, behavioral health, substance use disorder help, and more. There is also a virtual resource center available online.
The in-person and virtual resource center are open to everyone in the community – you do not need to be a community court participant to access the services. At the Kenmore branch of the King County Library, there is a computer reserved exclusively for the virtual resource center every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Community members who would like to volunteer for the Kenmore/Shoreline Community Court and/or the resource center can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-398-8900.
King County District Court Shoreline/Kenmore Community Court webpage.
City of Kenmore Court Services webpage.
Source: City of Kenmore press release