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Reno Municipal Court receives grant from U.S. Department of Justice to operate community court

Post Date:01/10/2019 12:18 PM
The Reno Municipal Court (RMC) has been awarded a $200,000 grant to operate a Community Court in downtown Reno beginning in early 2019.

RMC was one of five applicants selected nationwide to receive the funding and technical assistance through the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Community Court will exclusively hear cases involving misdemeanor nuisance crimes committed in the downtown Reno area.

Community courts, a specialty court format pioneered by CCI, have been successfully implemented nationally in urban areas as a response to low-level criminal activity that negatively impacts residents, businesses and tourism. In lieu of imposing jail time and fines on the individuals who commit these crimes, community court judges typically order the completion of same-day community service tasks (such as sidewalk cleanup, campsite and park cleanup, etc.) as restitution to the damaged parties or community at large.

In addition, service providers will be available at each session to provide access to earned government benefits and health insurance, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment, housing information, workforce training, and primary medical care to the offenders, who are often homeless. Nationwide, community courts have been shown to reduce low-level crime and their impacts in the communities in which they operate.

Reno Municipal Court Judge Tammy M. Riggs will be the presiding judge for RMC’s Community Court.

For more information on the Reno Community Court program, contact Veronica Lopez at 775-326-6682 or lopezv@reno.gov. For more information about the community court model, visit courtinnovation.org.