Vancouver's Downtown Community Court

As the first of its kind in Canada, Vancouver's Downtown Community Court pioneered the innovative approach that brings together justice, health and social services in one location – a purpose-designed courthouse.

  • A high number of offenders in downtown Vancouver have health and social problems, including alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness and poverty. The court takes a problem-solving approach to address offenders' needs and circumstances and the underlying causes of their criminal behaviour.
  • The community court creates new relationships, both within the justice system and with health and social services, community organizations, area residents, merchants, faith communities, non-profit organizations and schools.
  • The community court tests new ways to reduce crime and improve public safety. It deals with offenders more quickly through a co-ordinated and informed response, benefiting not only offenders but victims and the wider community as well.