Yesterday, January 9, marked the successful launch of Community Court in Fort Lauderdale, a program that addresses the needs of at-large, homeless, petty crime and municipal ordinance offenders. Focusing on the root causes of each defendant’s issues, Community Court applies appropriate therapeutic and community service based punishments, in lieu of jail time and fines.
The City of Fort Lauderdale was one of five jurisdictions in the nation to receive a federal grant to implement the specialized court. The Seventeenth Circuit worked closely with the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, the State Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Public Defender and the Broward Sheriff’s Office to develop the program. A multiplicity of public and private service providers signed on to provide services to participants in the Community Court as well.