City + Citizen News

Podcast: Spartanburg Municipal Judge seeks to establish Homeless Court

Wednesday, August 28

Program would provide relief and a path forward for homeless people dealing with minor charges

 

For those experiencing homelessness, even a minor criminal charge can have a major impact, leaving individuals trapped deeper in a cycle of poverty and addiction that becomes even more difficult to break. Spartanburg City Municipal Judge Erika McJimpsey has a plan to offer some of our community's most vulnerable members a different path by starting a homeless court in our city.

 

Homeless courts were founded as an alternative legal process for homeless people, who come into contact with law enforcement more often, that centers on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. The idea is to connect a qualified person with service providers who would establish a treatment plan with goals the homeless court participant would need to meet. Once the process is completed, convictions for minor offenses on the participant's record could be expunged, replacing a punitive approach to a vulnerable population with one focused on restorative justice. Spartanburg's homeless court would be the fifth in South Carolina.

 

Today on the podcast, Judge McJimpsey joins us give details about the new homeless court proposal and why it matters for Spartanburg.

 

Want to listen to our podcast on your smartphone? You can find us on SpotifyiTunesStitcherGoogle Play, or just search "Spartanburg City News" in your favorite podcast app. Theme music provided by Spartanburg singer-songwriter, David Ezell.