Eugene Receives Grant to Implement Community Court
Eugene will receive $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to create a community court.
The City of Eugene is one of ten recipients nationwide to receive the D.O.J. grant. Community courts deal with "quality of life" crimes by ordering offenders to pay for their crimes through service like painting over graffiti or cleaning up neighborhood parks.
City Manager Jon Ruiz says community court can also link offenders to services like mental health treatment and job training.
RUIZ: "It's an increased opportunity to really get the kinds of services that can help them on this transition to wellness. Part of the behavior is result of alcohol abuse and why not try to actually work on that which then can be very beneficial to the individual involved?"
Ruiz says community court alleviates some of the pressure off of the criminal justice system. He says involving first responders, prosecution and the court system is expensive and time consuming.
In the next phase, Eugene City Council will discuss community justice initiatives at a work session on April 27th.