Broward’s new community court is almost in session, according to Broward Chief Judge Jack Tuter’s administrative order released Thursday.
The court has moved into the City Commission Chambers at Fort Lauderdale City Hall and will hold its first session at 10 a.m. Jan. 9.
Instead of doling out fines or jail time, the pop-up courtrooms will aim to help low-level offenders break harmful cycles by addressing the root causes of such problems as addiction, homelessness and mental illness, in tandem with therapeutic and community service-based punishments.
The problem-solving court has been a pet project of Tuter’s, and saw him work closely with Fort Lauderdale and Broward County to make it happen. Tuter will oversee the project and designate judicial officers to preside over cases.
“The way we are handling minor violations of the law is not working,” Tuter told the Daily Business Review last year, adding, “We’re going to try something different.”
It’s Broward’s first community court, but it likely won’t be its last, because the administrative order notes that court officials might add locations.
Read Chief Judge Jack Tuter’s administrative order: