Community Courts


Community courts are neighborhood-focused court programs that combine the power of the community and the justice system to address local problems. They connect persons committing less serious crimes—often misdemeanor cases—to judicially supervised drug treatment, alternative sanctions, and other community-based services.


Program Models

The Fort Lauderdale community court addresses ordinance violations within the downtown and entertainment districts of the city, with a special focus on improving service delivery for individuals experiencing homelessness. Key partners include the chief judge Jack Tuter of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Mayor Dean Trantalis, city prosecutor, court administrator, City of Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Henderson Behavioral Health, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward County, Sunserve, Care Resource, OIC of South Florida, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Second Chance Society.

Community court project C.A.R.E. (Creating Avenues for Restoration and Empowerment) serves the entire city of Nashville which includes over 500 square miles and a population of over 625,000 residents. The community court is geared toward young adults, ages 18-26 who plead guilty to non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. Key partners include Judge Rachel L. Bell, the District Attorney, Glenn Funk, the Public Defender, Martesha Johnson, Anne-Louise Wirthlin with the TN Administrative Office of Courts and a number of community resource service providers.

The Puyallup community court serves the entire city of Puyallup which includes over 14 square miles and 40,000 residents. The program co-locates social services at the central courthouse to better serve a population that is geographically isolated from needed services. Key project partners include the presiding judge of the municipal court, chief of police, city prosecutor, public defender, court administrator, and several service providers.

The Wilmington community court serves the entire city of Wilmington, covering nearly 17 square miles and over 70,000 residents. The project is a multi-jurisdictional collaboration between the Superior Court, Court of Common Pleas, Family Court, and Justice of the Peace Court. The project focuses services on substance abuse, mental health, housing, life skills, and importantly, the creation of job opportunities. Key partners will include the Judiciary, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Defense Services, the Governor’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, Wilmington City Council, Wilmington Police, New Castle County Police, the Department of Labor, the Division of Substance Abuse, and Mental Health, and many more.


Below is a list of funding opportunities that have been previously available from federal and private funding sources. Please note that although the funding deadlines may have passed, they can still be reviewed and considered for future planning purposes. You can check back often on the Announcements page for current funding opportunities as they are announced.

Community Courts Grant Program

Technical Assistance

Many federal agencies and other partners offer assistance, in addition to grant funding, to jurisdictions, agencies and stakeholders to address training needs or the need for subject matter expertise to address local issues or challenges. Through these resources, you can access recent publications, tools, often request one-on-one remote or offsite assistance. Examples of assistance can include time with trainings, consulting time with subject matter experts, and/or opportunities for connecting with peers doing similar work.

Center for Court Innovation

Center for Court Innovation

With support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Center for Court Innovation provides no-cost training and technical assistance on the community court model to local and state criminal justice agencies. To request assistance with implementing a new community court, please fill out the form below. Center staff will review your request and contact you to discuss next steps.