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New Community Intervention Court
updated: Dec 12, 2012, 5:02 PM

Source: Ventura Police Department

Incident: New Community Intervention Court

Location: Ventura County Superior Court

Date/Time Occurred: December 2012

Partners Involved: Ventura County Superior Court Ventura County Public Defender's Office Ventura City Attorney's Office Ventura Police Department Ventura County Behavioral Health Department - Drug & Alcohol Project Understanding Salvation Army

In response to vagrancy related issues in Ventura, the Ventura County Public Defender's Office, Ventura City Attorney's Office, Ventura County Behavioral Health, The Salvation Army, Project Understanding, the Ventura Police Department and the Ventura County Superior Court have developed and implemented a Community Intervention Court. The purpose of the Community Intervention Court is to provide an alternative to traditional court proceedings for defendants who are frequently arrested for offenses in public spaces related to vagrancy. The Court proceedings are held once a week and engage the team's resources to work with the defendant to provide a course of action that will reduce or eliminate the on-going criminal behaviors. The long-term goal of the partnership is to interrupt the cycle of chronic homelessness and vagrancy for the individual by connecting them with appropriate and available services. The program was modeled after a similar program successfully developed by the Santa Barbara Police Department and Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

While the effort has just begun, the agencies believe this collaborative approach will provide effective solutions to a difficult problem facing the Ventura Community.

Ventura Mayor Mike Tracy played an integral role in presenting the concept to the Courts with a goal of establishing this collaborative approach.

Mayor Tracy commented: "This is a proactive step toward addressing vagrancy in our community. The results will not be immediate, but it's encouraging that multiple agencies of government recognize the issue and are working cooperatively to impact the problem in a positive way."

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