Spokane City Council considers ordinance that would secure future of therapeutic courts

The future of therapeutic courts in Spokane could be secured by a new ordinance that the city council will consider Monday.

Community Court, Veteran’s Court and DUI Court are designed to provide low-barrier legal services to offenders. These programs have been ongoing in Spokane for the past couple years and have proven to be successful.

Community courts across the nation have grown as they aim to balance the concerns of the community as ‘victims,’ but also foster the growth and skills needed to prevent the crimes from happening again.

The ordinance before council Monday will establish these specialty courts as permanent programs of the Municipal Court in Spokane County. The council agenda detailed the courts purposes, support and funding.

Judge Mary Logan said approving this ordinance would prevent politics from standing in the way of the great work done in these courts.

“It represents very clearly what the mission is with reference to the criminal justice system for the City of Spokane,” Judge Logan said. “Again, it just eliminates the possibility that if someone has a difference of opinion, that the great work this court has been doing since its inception, which was in 2009, would continue despite that.”

The Spokane City Council meets Monday at 6:00 p.m. at Spokane City Hall.

See the impact these programs have Monday night on 4 News Now at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.