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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

CONTACT: City Communications 816-513-1349

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 7, 2010

City Council Resolution to honor KC Municipal Court judges

The City of Kansas City, Mo., City Council will recognize Municipal Court judges for their extensive efforts to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior and other issues that erode public safety and quality of life in Kansas City. The Council resolution recognizing them will be read on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. in City Council Chambers on City Hall’s 26th floor, 414 E. 12th St.

The resolution, introduced by Councilwoman Cathy Jolly, points out that many citizens charged with City ordinance violations have substance dependency and/or mental health issues. To keep these conditions from worsening and to reduce the potential for recidivism, judges in three specialty courts – Mental Health Court, Drug Court and Veterans Court – are helping to get to the root of these problems through various types of therapeutic approaches. Rather than impose punitive sentences upon individuals with these problems, specialty court judges often require violators to undergo treatment programs, monitor their progress (which may involve the imposition of additional requirements if sufficient progress is not shown) and/or refer the offender to community-based and governmental organizations that offer mental illness and/or addictions treatment programs.

“Municipal Court judges have been quite proactive in addressing numerous social issues, including the root causes of crime,” said John Franklin, assistant to the city manager. “Having recognized the social impact they can make through the specialty courts, the judges themselves have applied for and received at least $4 million in grants from governmental and charitable agencies. These grants have made it possible to help many more people receive therapeutic interventions – thus improving the quality of life in Kansas City. The City Council’s resolution, which honors the judges for this work, is richly deserved.”

Media inquiries about this “problem-solving court model” should be directed to John Franklin, assistant to the city manager, 816-513-3900.

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