Clallam judge implements two programs

Starting March 1, District Court Judge Rick Porter will implement two new programs that will enhance the Pay or Appear program. First, individuals who owe fines and cannot afford to pay them will be able to do community service in lieu of paying their fines.

They will be credited $10/hour for the community service they perform. The community service program will be managed by Friendship Diversion which will confirm all of the hours being reported to avoid any possible fraud.

Second, individuals who choose to complete their GED will be given credit for up to 200 hours of community service ($2,000) to be applied to their fines. Statistically, the single most common denominator for criminal behavior is not completing high school, Porter said. This program will give individuals a strong incentive to complete their GED; and hopefully give them the tools and the opportunity to succeed, without having to resort to crime.

Ultimately, this will benefit the community as well as the individual, Porter said.

“The criminal justice system should be a mixture of accountability and grace; it should correct behavior, while giving second chances,” Porter said.


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