Monday, March 19, 2007

Community Court: From Retribution to Rehabilitation

The Seattle Channel as a segment (about 10 minutes) on Seattle's Community Court. The community court approach emphasizes community service and social service treatment over jail time for minor crimes -- prostitution, petty theft, drug possession -- often by people who are homeless. The video includes clips of court administrators, Presiding Judge Fred Bonner, City Attorney Tom Carr, defense attorney Dave Chapman (Associated Counsel for the Accused), and a defendant who was helped by the program. Seattle Channel -- CityStream, Dec. 21, 2006.

Judge Bonner says that the program has changed him -- not just the defendants:

I used to be considered somewhat of a hardass, and now I don't look at things the same as I did before.I look at the individual who appears before me as a person who's crying out for help. I am in a help mode rather than a punishment mode. ... My original indoctrination into the system was one of retribution. I've come all the way from retribution to rehabilitation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That judge sounds refreshingly candid, not to mention smart!