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Enhancing Skagit County & Municipal Community Court

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $677,356)

The Skagit County Community Court (SCCC) is an alternative problem-solving court which engages clients and community partners in prosocial support systems. The aim of the program is to focus efforts on low-level, nonviolent criminal offenses which often occur because of underlying mental health and substance abuse issues. The goal is to build stronger and safer local communities while reducing recidivism in collaboration between community service agencies. 

SCCC is asking for funding in Category 2 (Enhancement). If BJA can continue current funding for the Case Advocate and Community Court Coordinator positions, SCCC will be able to continue providing five separate courts with community court programming. Funding for these positions expires in September 2023 and, consequently, the court would lose the ability to help clients navigate through many complex systems, including mental health and substance abuse care, housing, employment, and educational pathways. The court would also lose the crucial Coordinator that focuses on maintaining program continuity, structure, data analysis and acts as the media outlet to the public.  

Areas served include the cities of Anacortes, Burlington, Sedro Woolley, Mount Vernon, Hamilton, Lyman, Concrete, Marblemount and Diablo. The main Community court is located at The Parker Building, 1700 East College Way, Mount Vernon, WA, 98273, with satellite courts located in 5 of the above listed cities. 

The target population consists of adults with non-violent charges, with an emphasis on mental health or substance abuse and those in rural Skagit county where access to court is difficult. The Center for Court Innovation tool, containing 25 core items, is used to identify participants' needs and risk level. Additionally, the court docket is reviewed for criminal history, patterns, and probable cause to determine other needs, such as substance abuse or mental health treatment. We anticipate continuing to serve approximately 150 clients per year contingent on the outcome of the Blake decision in Washington State. 

The Skagit County Community Court program will employ cutting edge methods and techniques to combat racial and minority inequities. A bilingual Community Programs Coordinator has been hired and funding has been earmarked to retain a translation agency. 

Expected outcomes include a reduction in low level crimes: shoplifting, vagrancy, illegal camping and trespassing. Also, increasing program awareness and a reduction in jail costs. Skagit County is committed to this innovative approach to social justice.

Date Created: September 27, 2023