The Las Vegas Township Justice Court was selected as one of ten sites nationwide to win the 2016 Community Court Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation.
As a selected site, the Las Vegas Township Community Court will receive $200,000, as well as technical assistance from the Center for Court Innovation to implement a community court. The County Commission voted unanimously today to accept the funding for the innovative program.
Community courts respond to quality-of-life crimes – low-level, nonviolent, petty crimes that collectively undermine public safety and people's sense of well-being in the community. The Las Vegas Community Court will focus on goals of reducing recidivism rates, protecting public safety and property, and improving the quality of life within the community. Las Vegas Justice Court has already assembled a coalition of stakeholders, including Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, the Clark County Office of the District Attorney, Clark County Office of the Public Defender, and community service providers.
As part of their sentence, offenders are ordered by the court to pay back the communities they've harmed through visible community service projects such as painting over graffiti, beautifying neighborhood parks, and cleaning up litter and debris from public streets. At the same time, community courts link offenders to services designed to help them address the underlying issues fueling their criminal behavior such as drug and alcohol treatment, mental health services, job training, and public benefits. Nationally, research has shown that the community court model can reduce crime and substance use, increase services to victims, save money, and improve public confidence in justice. Las Vegas Justice Court officials will work with stakeholders to establish a pilot program for the new community court. They hope to get the program under way early next year.
For more information on the Las Vegas Township Community Court program, contact Sherri Parris at (702) 671-3421. For more information about the community court model, go to: www.courtinnovation.org/topic/community-court.