© 2022 KLCC

KLCC
136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401
541-463-6000
klcc@klcc.org

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Justice Initiative Uses Support And Care Approach For Minor Offenders

100716_CommCourt01.JPG
Brian Bull
/

An initiative to help low-level offenders in Eugene get help instead of jail time is celebrating its first month, and graduate.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Launched last month, the Community Court offers social services for those who’ve been cited or simply need help getting off the streets.  

100716_DwntonEugene.JPG
Credit Brian Bull
/
Eugene's bus terminal, where minor offender "Michael" was cited, then brought to the Community Court. He says it's really helped him.

One such person – whom we’ll call by his first name --  graduates today.  “Michael” was unemployed and homeless.  He was cited with criminal trespass at the bus terminal.

“I’ve gotten a job out of this opportunity, got plugged into the Goodwills and some other community services that are out there," Michael tells KLCC.

"It’s really working with me to be able to get me back on my feet and help me strive to be a better person.” 

Judge Wayne Allen presides over the Community Court. He says many who appear before him were once productive members of their community.

“Then one or two events would cause them to lose their employment, then the downward spiral to homelessness, and then the drug and alcohol that go with that," explains Judge Allen.  

" So the impetus is to help people.” 

100716_JudgeWayneAllen.JPG
Credit Brian Bull
/
Judge Wayne Allen, outside the Community Court in the Eugene Public Library.

A prosecutor says a community court in Spokane has alleviated crime and homelessness in that city.    

Eugene’s court is supported by a 2-year, $200,000 federal grant.  It’s held Fridays at the Eugene Public Library. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content