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Judged in the Court of Public Support

Participants and graduation, instead of defendants and parole. Since April, Redmond, Washington’s, new community court has focused on assistance rather than punishment.
Judge Lisa Paglisotti presides at the King County Community Court in the Redmond, Washington, public library.
Judge Lisa Paglisotti presides at the King County Community Court in the Redmond, Washington, public library.Hallie Golden

Last Wednesday, in front of the prosecutor, defense attorneys, and a gallery peppered with people, Judge Lisa Paglisotti greeted Brittany Mistelske, a 24 year old appearing in her court as a result of a misdemeanor charge.

After a quick hello, Judge Paglisotti addressed the fact that Mistelske hadn’t shown up to court the week before. But rather than punishing her or even reprimanding her, the judge told her earnestly that she was worried about her.