Comments

1

The methods used to conduct the scooter survey are dubious, so here's my personal and biased anecdotal experience instead!

2

@1, yeah that cracked me up. If only the humor was intentional, but alas.

3

Isn't the existence of "high utilizers" evidence that the Community Court program does not work?

Over 100 "clients" with over 2,400 charges? Not exactly a selling point for the Community Courts.

4

I'm usually willing to shit on SDOT, but 10 full weekend closures of Lake Washington Blvd is a big improvement over the scattered "Bicycle Sundays" we saw 5+ years ago.

5

@3
Whatever the community court graduation rate would show how well its working. Also removing the high offenders would improve the success rate overall. Maybe even making it easier to fail out of the program could motivate others to comply so as to stay out of jail.

6

@3: It's not necessarily an indictment (ha!) of the Community Court program, but it does show how the Community Court program, at least as currently structured, is far from perfect. (Given the diversity of paths to becoming a repeat offender, we should not expect any one solution, or one set of solutions, to work for every offender.)

For all of the Stranger's huffing and puffing over this, the Community Court program, like any program, has finite resources. Why keep spending those finite resources on persons who've already demonstrated the program does not work well (or even at all) for them? Why not prioritize keeping first-time offenders out of jail, and possibly from re-offending?

7

@5 and @6

Very well said.

8

Yeah let’s cry and wring our hands more about the re re re re re re re repeat offenders the city has to offer. Screw those guys.

9

Hey Matt, I'm gonna come to the stranger offices and repeatedly steal all your shit.
When you get mad at me and tell me to stop, I'll just call you a Karen and continue taking your shit because fuck you Karen.

10

my GOTT this
place sux!
keep 'em
Comin'

11

It makes sense that there would be escalating consequences/decreasing leniency for people who keep committing crimes. Community Court recognizes this and gives people a chance to shape up and correct their mistakes. But It does not make sense to let people commit the same crimes over and over again while avoiding consequences.

At some point, you are not a "victim of society," "only a lad," or any of the other excuses that get put forth - you simply become an asshole who presents a problem for the rest of us.

To the extent that people are fucking up because of drugs, it's realistic to admit that many are going to need repeated efforts at dealing with their problems and that they'll be back in the system more than once.

But if you have just demonstrated that you would rather steal shit than work, and keep getting arrested accordingly, then fuck you.

12

Another whiny irritating slog from Matt. Of course he rides a scooter - a motorized mode of transport for the lazy idiots who can't be bothered to walk or ride a bike. Some cities outlaw them on the sidewalks - why? Because they and the idiots that ride them are hazardous.

Sympathy for "high utilizers" (read - career criminals who keep on because why? No consequences)? Throw them off the bridge with Matt's stalled scooter.

13

"Throw them off the bridge
with Matt's stalled scooter."
--@Get friggin real

maybe take out a whole
Homeless family living
under the bridge that's
what they call a tenfur

14

What? Building denser housing means more people can live in a place more easily? WhAaAaT? Next you'll tell me people don't steal much when they have stable housing and all their basic needs met as opposed to living desperately under the constant threat of poverty with punishment being the only solution your government has for you. That'll be the day.

15

@6 Why keep spending those finite resources [of the community court] on persons who've already demonstrated the program does not work well (or even at all) for them?

Because it is a shitload cheaper than regular court. That was the whole reason they started it in the first place. At best this is a good idea -- a way to deal with these people in a more efficient and effective way (using "dedicated resources for this population"). At worst this is sending these people into the old court system, where they will become repeat offenders there. Given there seems to be no plans for the former, it looks like it will be latter. This means more people spending time in the more expensive legal system, along with potentially more time in jail. So now you are paying way more money to jail these people, and try these people, while they continue to commit the same stupid crimes.

But hey, they probably do make the numbers look good, and lets face it, that's what is really important.

16

@15 Ross following your logic why even bother arresting them in the first place? I mean after all they aren't going to follow through with any of the community court recommendations or requirements so we are just wasting money putting them through that so they can be back out on the street again in a week to steal another TV out of Target. Yeah it may be more expensive to put them through "real" court and then jail them but the true cost is how much damage they are doing to the community and public safety by their repeated inability to give a shit about anyone but themselves. I guess throwing coffee in the face of a baby may not matter much to you because hey it doesn't cost us any money but that is something I would gladly allocate tax dollars too so no child has to endure that trauma.

17

@15 If these people can’t stop themselves from repeatedly committing crimes then they properly belong in the criminal justice system and eventually jail and most likely prison.

Whatever the cost of these people’s incarceration it is far less costly than allowing the lawlessness that threatens to rob us of public spaces.

18

@15: I fully support Community Court, and I believe that it, and diversionary programs generally, are a great idea. Youthful mistakes should not automatically be one-way tickets into the maw of our criminal justice system. But sending repeat offenders into Community Court has several effects, all of them bad.

As @5 noted, this drives down the success rate of the Community Court program, and as @3 implied, this higher failure rate becomes fodder for anyone who opposes the Community Court program. Even worse, it may be teaching the repeat offenders that there are no real consequences for their continued criminal acts -- until they suddenly wind up in real prisons with real long sentences, when it's too late.

As @16 and @17 noted, at some point, continued criminal acts must result in jail time, because the rest of us deserve protection from criminals. If Community Court isn't working for some individuals, then we can start working on other diversionary programs, but until then, the rights of citizens to be free of crime must take priority.


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