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Moving on to a criminal justice update. I thought this was all COVID-related, but looking through the presentations, it's about more than that.…
Municipal judge Linda Cooke talking about how unhoused residents have difficulty navigating the system, along with other systems like housing, health care, etc.

Court began in 2015 using sentencing as a way to employ navigators to help this population. Now has 2 FT navigators.
Sentences were then suspended IF they did something "that was going to be helpful" in this journey, Cooke says, like getting an ID card or obtaining disability verification.
Cooke: "These are not simple things we're asking them to do. They are pretty arduous and are not a light or easy was off as opposed to doing community service."
Getting 40 high utilizers of the court system into housing reduced jail bookings by 100% and municipal charges by 90%

How is that freaking possible?
That's according to slide 11 of this presentation. Stunning numbers.
The most common types of muni court offenses: Parking, Traffic, Animal violations, Civil Code violations, Quality of Life violations committed largely by young adults (underage drinking) or largely by individuals experiencing homelessness (smoking pot, etc.)
General offenses carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail.
People experiencing homelessness had 131 criminal cases diverted (dismissed) because of positive steps toward housing within the last year
• Dozens of referrals to mental health and substance abuse
• Seven high-utilizers housed within the last year
This is such a good topic that I wish it had come to council before 10 p.m.
Chris Reynolds, a city attorney, going over that absolutely incredible slide showing really stunning drops in bookings and charges.

I think I understand why the numbers are so high: It was a decrease AMONG those 40 ppl, not those 40 ppl's effect on the system as a whole.
Which now seems really obvious, but it's late and I'm tired.
"Housing is the only evidence-based tool that has been proven to reduce recidivism" when it comes to the homeless and criminal justice, Reynolds says.
Reynolds telling the story of "John" a homeless person who got "ticket after ticket" for camping or trespass. would never come to court; "We would only ever see him at the jail" when he was arrested for failure to appear.
John had been a "successful individual" with an "international career." His plane was diverted one month after 9/11. John thought it meant the plane was about to be downed; he sent a note to the pilot. He was met on the ground by the FBI.
Schizophrenia took over his life. He bounced around from state to state, coming to Colorado in the 2010s, Reynolds says.
Jail is not a substitute for mental health care, Reynolds says. "Many ppl like John who are in desperate need of help really only have the jail as their mental health care provider."
John now has housing and no more legal issues. "John's story highlights what is possible when a system adapts to meet ppl where they are rather than where we wish them to be," Reynolds says.
People experiencing homelessness had 308 criminal cases diverted (dismissed) because they did not receive a new violation after six months
• 42% reduction in jail bookings with municipal charges
• $280,000 estimated in cost savings to law enforcement and courts
624 extra hours of police on streets instead of booking people into jail on warrants
I'm not crying, you're crying at John's story and this whole homeless navigator thing with the courts.
Reynolds: We're talking about chaining the way failure to appear warrants work. Typically, judge reviews those, then police find probable cause and arrest the person.

Warrant clustering adds a step, he says. A prosecutor will review all cases where someone failed to appear.
Prosecutor will ask the court to stay the warrant or issue it, based on the history of the person.

Reynolds: Maybe the person who gets a first-time failure to appear, that's all that's needed to change behavior.
Most ppl who enter homelessness are able to get out of it within months, he says.
This is relevant to the stats I posted a few tweets back. With a pilot of warrant clustering, 42% reduction in bookings, 308 cases dismissed, $280,000 in savings for the community.
Under this program, the ppl who kept being arrested "were the ppl who really should be in jail," bc they couldn't be safe in our community, Reynolds says.
"It's not just that fewer arrests are in and of themselves a good thing," Reynolds said. It's what smaller jail dockets opened us the opportunity for: to follow up with someone trying to get housing, etc.
Praise from Young, Brockett for this program.
And Weaver.
Gonna wrap this and move to our next (related) topic: Crime stats.

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