Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $522,090)
Kansas City Early Intervention Community Court
The City of Kansas City, Missouri will create a Planning and Implementation Team to design an Early Intervention Community Court (EICC). Up to six communities in the Third Council District, named as some of Kansas City’s most dangerous neighborhoods, will be included.
Project Purpose: to design an early intervention justice response for youth and first-time offenders that will strengthen whole community engagement to address underlying issues that lead to criminal behavior. It will use proven-effective interventions to build better, accessible, and supportive alternatives for marginalized individuals before criminal attitudes and behaviors are fully established. The EICC will provide individualized justice and sentencing for marginalized individuals, promote civil rights, racial equity, and increased access to justice, while also supporting crime victims and individuals impacted by the justice system, strengthening community safety, and building trust between law enforcement and the community.
The planning team will include neighborhood residents, business owners, clergy leaders, the mayor, city administrator, city prosecutor, court administrator and social service agencies. They will spend six months hosting open community meetings, reviewing feedback, studying best practice programs, and designing an EICC that has the active support and confidence of community members.
Activities: The EICC will mobilize a network of social services, substance use treatment, active case managers with restorative justice and accountability systems to actively intervene with young and first-time offenders. The final program will utilize alternative sanctions with judicially supervised substance use disorder treatment, and community-based services to intervene with marginalized youth in some of the community’s most under-resourced and troubled neighborhoods.
A key component of the plan is to locate the Community Court activities within the neighborhood so that it is a familiar and accessible resource for citizens. A Community Advocate will help defendants understand and comply with expectations on an individual level. They will also assist with community outreach and engagement.
The planning process will occur during the first six months and include final decisions on location, programs, restorative justice options, partner roles and performance measurement and evaluation.
Expected Outcomes: Reduced recidivism. Lower crime rates in participant neighborhoods.
Service Area: Up to six neighborhoods in the Third Council District of Kansas City.
Intended Beneficiaries: Youth and first-time offenders involved in low level crimes, community residents.