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Community Justice Service Center

 

History
Opened August 1999, the Community Justice Service Center (CJSC) is   located in West Palm Beach, Florida.  CJSC   has    a    dual    commitment   of rehabilitating the offender and restoring the community.  CJSC was created to address non-violent misdemeanor offenses and ordinance violations dealing with nuisance quality-of-life offenses, such as low-level drug sales, trespassing, loitering, solicitation for prostitution, and open container violations. Residents, local merchants, service providers and law enforcement assist CJSC in developing community service projects and on-site programs.By providing meaningful offender sanctions, CJSC is producing positive results for the community. 

The Community Justice Service Center was closed on December 10, 2010 due to lack of funding.


Mission
To empower neighborhood residents to have a voice in the criminal justice system and improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live.


Purpose
To address offenses which contribute to neighborhood deterioration using restorative justice for both the offender and the community.

Philosophy

  1. Designed to pay back the neighborhood where crimes occur, offenders wear bright green vests while performing community service.
  2. Created to provide immediate sentencing for offenders within 24 hours of appearing for Court.
  3. Formed a Community Advisory Board for collaborative problem solving of neighborhood problems. 
  4. Organized several community-based partners to provide on-site social services, i.e., health promotion, employment assistance, crisis intervention counseling.

 

CJSC components
Clinical Programming
Clinical Programs are administered by an on-site Social Worker to assess offenders with high-risk behaviors and quality of life issues.  Offenders accepting plea agreements are linked to their service needs. Many offenders present with psycho-social, quality of life issues and are in need of numerous services.  Some require evaluations and referrals with extensive monitoring.  Many offenders return to receive services even after their sanctions are completed. 

Community Service
Community Service offers adult offenders the option to pay back the community by working on community cleanup projects.  During the CJSC planning stages, a neighborhood wide survey was conducted. The results indicated abandoned property, illegal dumping and property in disrepair were rated as the most serious of the neighborhood problems, other than drug selling.  This prompted an in-house supervision component to address

 

2009 Activities

Walk-in Activity

  • 10,586 walk-ins utilized social services including referrals/linkage to healthcare, transportation, emergency food, and homeless placement.   
  • Employments services were utilized 1,977 times,
  • Notary Public services were provided 224 times,
  • Groups hosted 1,288 participants They include computer classes, AA meetings, acupuncture, legal consultations, Census 2010 training, HIV/AIDS education, health and wellness classes.

Court Activity

  • 722 offenders appeared for court for non-violent misdemeanor crimes, such as trespassing, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, etc. and were referred to clinical intervention, i.e., substance abuse and mental health evaluation, education and treatment and social service assistance and ordered to perform community service sanctions.

Social Service Activity

  • 402 defendants received various social services from the Licensed Clinical Social Worker   
  • 2,140 social services were provided to the walk in population

Community Service Activity 208 defendants completed community service sanctions

Provided 1,148 hours of service in neighborhoods at planned work sites and various non-profit organizations 

Project Ready 

Project Ready is a new program funded by the Quantum Foundation that focuses on job preparedness, retention and long-term goals.

  • The first two sessions of Project Ready, (four week, 12 session course) graduated 21 students. 
  • 40% found gainful employment, the others continue to work with the Job Coach and Job Developer

Substance Abuse Treatment (including Westgate clients)

  • 63 entered treatment
  • 26 completed
  • 7 still in treatment
  • 4 completed treatment and Project Ready and 3 of them are now employed
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Contact Us

 

Criminal Justice Commission (CJC)

301 North Olive Avenue,
Suite 1001
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 355-4943
Fax: (561) 355-4941

E-mail the CJC