To build stronger and safer neighborhoods and help prevent repeated criminal behavior, King County District Court and the City of Auburn have been collaborating for several years to implement a community court in Auburn.
Community Court in Auburn
The newest community court will open in Auburn on May 27, 2021. The alternative, problem-solving court will differ from traditional courts by seeking to identify and address the underlying challenges of court participants that may contribute to further criminal activity. King County District Court Judge Mathew York will hear community court cases on Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
A crucial part of helping community court participants break free from the cycle of criminal behavior is to offer them easier access to community services. These will be provided at the Auburn Consolidated Resource Center (ACRC), which the City of Auburn opened in early 2021. The ACRC provides a wide array of services to community court participants and to anyone else in the community, including access to job training, education, behavioral health and substance use disorder help, healthcare/insurance, and more. The ACRC is located at 2816 Auburn Way North, with convenient access to public transportation.
Charges that are brought forward to community court are low-level offenses such as disorderly conduct and trespassing. Driving-related cases are not eligible. Participants must not have any violent felony convictions in the last five years, any pending violent felony charges, or a sex offender history.
“This is just one more asset for our city to draw on as we continue our approach of compassionate accountability for our community,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus
Building on Success
“Community Court is showing great success in assisting people who want to break free of the criminal justice system by providing community-based access to the services they need to be successful and remain law abiding,” said King County District Court Chief Presiding Judge Susan Mahoney. “We are particularly excited to launch this program in Auburn because of this community’s long history of coming together to assist people who wish to make positive changes and find new direction in their lives. This type of community support is what enables community court to be a more successful option for its participants than the traditional court process.”
Community Court in Auburn builds upon the successful operation of Community Court in Redmond (launched April 2018) and Community Court in Shoreline (launched January 2020). Community Court in Burien (launched February 2019) was temporarily suspended beginning in July 2020 due to funding shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Community members who would like to volunteer for Community Court in Auburn can contact Callista Welbaum, therapeutic courts manager for King County District Court: (206) 477-1315; [email protected].
About King County District Court
King County District Court is one of the busiest courts in Washington State, with more than 134,000 cases filed in 2020. The district court holds court and provides public access at 10 facilities throughout King County: Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, Issaquah, King County Courthouse (Seattle), King County Jail (Seattle jail calendars only), Redmond, Maleng Regional Justice Center (Kent), Shoreline and Vashon Island (one day per month). www.kingcounty.gov/courts/district-court.aspx
About City of Auburn
Home to nearly 85,000 people, Auburn is Washington’s fifteenth largest city, located at the intersection of Highway 18 and State Route 167. Spanning nearly 30 square miles, the city is home to a diverse population that straddles both King and Pierce Counties. Learn more at auburna.gov.
The above is a joint press release from King County District Court and the City of Auburn. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content.