The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

New Community Court offers positive options to defendants


November 11, 2020

Judge Larry Blake, right, checks things out as service providers settle in for a session of Sweet Home's new Community Court, held at the Sweet Home Police Department. The program gives low-level offenders a chance to access services and improve their lives in return for dropped charges.

Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of stories dealing with the challenges facing the unhoused in our community.

At noon Wednesday, Oct. 28, a veritable crowd of helpers gathered in the Municipal Court, ready to greet the downtrodden and get them back on their feet.

Community Court, as it's dubbed, provides help to low-level offenders who are struggling with addiction, housing, mental health problems, or employment. Participants are directed to programs that will lift them up instead of shunting them into jail or giving them fines they can rarely repay.

"You can't fine so...

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