State and local officials
gathered on Monday, November 10, 2003, to celebrate the fifth
anniversary of the Community Court Session in Hartford.
Community Court was
established in 1998 to address the "quality of life crimes" that have
contributed to the corrosion of our communities. The Hartford Community
Court is committed to restorative justice, for both the community and
the defendant. This is accomplished through an in-house social services
team that responds to the needs of the defendant and a community service
program that gives back to the community.
The Honorable Jorge A. Simón,
Presiding Judge of Community Court, gave opening remarks and introduced
the several dignitaries who were present -- Chief Court Administrator
Judge Joseph H. Pellegrino; Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez; Hartford City
Manager Lee Erdmann; and Hartford Assistant Police Chief Kevin S. Jones.
Each speaker noted the success of Community Court, and what is has meant
for both the state and the city.
"Who benefits from all of
this? Everybody," Judge Pellegrino told the audience. "The defendant
benefits because of the effort to address the problems behind the
behavior. The City benefits because of the service that is given back.
The State benefits because Community Court eases the pressure on GA-14.
And as it should be, the ultimate beneficiaries are all of the citizens
within the Hartford Judicial District."
Judge Simón also gave
special recognition to members of the staff who have served at the
Community Court since its opening in 1998. The honorees also received
Among the first of its kind
in the nation, the Hartford Community
Court has handled more than 38,000
cases since it opened. The total number of community service hours
performed is 151,065, and 11,537 human services referrals have been
issued. An additional 1,956 cases have been referred to mediation.