The Honorable Asra I. Elliott presides over Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court’s Outreach Court Program.
The program is a collaborative effort between the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, the Office of the District Attorney, the Law Offices of the Public Defender, the Private Defense Bar, and community providers.
Outreach Court is designed to work with community members who are unhoused or at risk of becoming unhoused. The program receives referrals directly from community providers. This allows individuals engaged with community providers an opportunity to resolve outstanding misdemeanor cases and warrants.
Participants may engage in various activities and services aimed at improving their quality of life. Some examples are: life skills activities, substance use treatment, literacy classes, training, employment, counseling, housing programs etc. The Court acknowledges these efforts and uses that recognition to satisfy the obligations of the case.
Community providers submit a referral to court staff who then review the referral for eligibility. The participant will work with their client advocate/case manager at their chosen program to design a plan to move towards self-sufficiency.
Providers will write letters of advocacy on behalf of the participant and their efforts in the program. The Court will review the letter of advocacy and recognize those efforts through case dismissal, case closure and waiving of fines and fees.
Outreach Court enables unhoused and precariously housed individuals who are actively engaged in the program to address their outstanding legal obligations, freeing them to reclaim their lives and return to the community as valued members.