Seattle Municipal Court judges agree to exclude certain ‘high utilizer’ individuals from Community Court

May 9, 2022, 3:42 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm

Seattle City Attorney candidate Ann Davison...

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison. (Campaign photo)

(Campaign photo)

The Seattle City Attorney requested that certain individuals originally identified as high utilizers will be excluded from participating in the program.

A high utilizer is an individual responsible for repeat criminal activity across the city of Seattle, according to City Attorney Ann Davison.

City Attorney Davison swears in, pledges advocacy for ‘powerless’ crime victims

The Seattle Municipal Court judges, in an effort to work collaboratively, have agreed to Davison’s proposed changes to Seattle Community Court.

The City Attorney’s office launched the High Utilizer Initiative in March, which aimed to dramatically reduce the high utilizer’s public safety impacts by prioritizing their cases to ensure they have access to critical social safety programs.

The 118 initially identified people, according to Davison’s office, were charged with theft (1,019 charges), trespassing (589 charges), assault (409 charges), or weapons violations (101 charges).

The court strongly disagrees that the Community Court has not been effective in dealing with the high utilizer individuals. However, the court made this decision in the interest of preserving Community Court as an option to address many non-violent misdemeanor cases.

Seattle Community Court was launched in August 2020 to assist individuals booked on low-level misdemeanor charges through access to services in the community instead of sitting in jail waiting for a court date. The court intended to accomplish this through a series of “warm handoffs” from the jail to the court’s pre-trial services unit which can connect individuals to services utilizing the Community Resource Center.

Ann Davison Sattler: The letter by my name changed, but I’m still me

As a pandemic response, the King County Jail implemented booking restrictions, and individuals accused of low-level crimes are no longer booked into the jail. Instead, they are cited by the police and then released, many times without a future court date. When a court date is set for these cases, many cannot be reached by mail because of housing insecurity, mental health issues, and substance abuse issues; all issues that Community Court was meant to address.

The efficacy of the Community Court program as it was intended has therefore never been put to the test for the ‘high utilizer’ group identified by the City Attorney’s Office.

Local News

echo glen juvenile...

KTTH staff

7 juvenile Echo Glen inmates escape, 4 still on the loose

Seven juveniles escaped the Echo Glen Juvenile detention center early Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

24 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Crew shortages force WA State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips

Crew shortages forced Washington State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips on one of the busiest travel days KIRO 7 has seen so far this year.

24 hours ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

24 hours ago

Woman stabbed Central District...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Woman escapes through second-story window after man allegedly stabs her in Central District

A woman escaped through a second-story window after a man allegedly stabbed her on Saturday in the Central District.

2 days ago

Paraglider Poo Poo Point...

Michael Simeona

Paraglider rescued from tree near Issaquah’s Poo Poo Point

A paraglider was rescued Friday after crashing into a tree near Issaquah's Poo Poo Point. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

2 days ago

Tacoma rents increase...

Lauren Donovan, KIRO 7 News

Tenants protest outside city hall as Tacoma rents increase four times faster than Seattle

Experts warn that the affordability gap is narrowing, with Tacoma rents increasing four times faster than those in Seattle.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Seattle Municipal Court judges agree to exclude certain ‘high utilizer’ individuals from Community Court