North Las Vegas CARE Court gives low-level offenders a second chance

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 9:44 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - It’s a different approach to the criminal justice system. The North Las Vegas Municipal Court created the Community Approach to Rehabilitation and Engagement Court for low-level offenders about a year ago.

Inmer Osorio is among five graduates who recently completed the program.

“I feel great, I feel healthy, my head, I can think better,” Osorio said.

The goal is to address underlying problems.

“I feel very blessed for this program because I learned a lot, I made a mistake but this program helped me understand why I made a mistake, and why I deserve a second chance,” he said.

The program helps connect them with services. Offenses range from drug addiction, homelessness, to mental health issues. Participants have to complete a number of steps over the past year in order to graduate.

“The benefit of them being in the program is not only do they get their case dismissed, they also get it sealed which helps tremendously, obviously for employment purposes if they want to get reengaged in school,” Chief judge Chris Lee said.

Lee said the program has been a success.

“This is just the beginning, we’ve got really big ideas to expand our program, certainly there is a lot of need in our community,” he said.

For Osorio, it’s an opportunity to start over.

“I can continue my career, this is out in the back, not on my record, so I can get a CDL now, I can do a lot of things,” Osorio said.