Everett To Move Forward On Work Crews

January 20, 2016

Everett, Everett Government

Work crews as an alternative to jailing those who’ve been arrested for minor crimes in Everett took another step forward Wednesday night.

work crews

Work crews will sweep, pick up litter and clean storm drains.

The Everett City Council got a briefing on a proposal for the city to enter into an agreement with Friendship Diversion Services to manage a work crew program for people arrested for things like trespassing, panhandling and other misdemeanors often associated with those experiencing homelessness in Everett.

The diversion program will take candidates recommended by the city prosecutor and assign them to a work crew to sweep streets, pick up litter, clean storm drains and do other projects in the area east of Broadway to the Snohomish River and between 41st street and Everett Avenue. The area includes Smith street near the Everett Gospel Mission and Everett Station.

During tonight’s briefing Mayor Stephanson told the council the work crews would be identified as part of the safe streets program so that the community could see that people were being held accountable.

Those participating in the work crews would not have to pay anything and would even be able to work off existing fines in an effort to end the cycle of fine, missed payment, another fine, another missed payment, etc.

It offers an alternative to the expense of putting people in jail, provides the person with experience in a structured work environment that may lead them to getting work and offers a method of rehabilitation plus community restitution.

Friendship Diversion Services would provide supervision and equipment along with reporting to the city the progress of the participants. The value of the initial contract is $80,000.00. It’s expected to come up for city council approval during the first meeting in February.

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