Seattle Municipal Court Statement Regarding City Attorney’s Formal Request to Allow Independent Prosecution of Individuals Committing Frequent Offenses
Seattle (April 28, 2022) – In response to Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison’s April 27, 2022 letter to the Seattle Municipal Court judges, the court issued the following statement:
Seattle Municipal Court remains committed to collaborating with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office and the King County Department of Public Defense to ensure a viable Seattle Community Court program. Judge Damon Shadid has kept the Seattle Municipal Court bench informed of the City Attorney's proposal to deny participation in Community Court for certain individuals the City Attorney identifies as high utilizers, and we are still evaluating this proposal.
Community Court was relaunched in 2020 after extensive collaboration between the court and representatives from prosecution and defense. It was founded to address the root causes behind low-level criminal activity while reducing the harm of pretrial incarceration. This version of Community Court was designed with the Washington State Pretrial Reform Task Force Final Recommendations report and The Vera Institute of Justice’s 2020 report front and center.
We appreciate City Attorney Davison’s commitment to preserving Community Court. In the coming days, the court will continue to work with her office and the Department of Public Defense to identify how to move forward together and create a prioritized plan for people whose needs and issues are not being addressed, and have not been addressed historically, by our criminal justice system.