Bring Municipal Court to School


Earlier this month, City Attorney Chris Smith updated the South Milwaukee Common Council on a seemingly small innovation that is paying big dividends.

The problem was simple: We were requiring young offenders — mostly for cases in involving truancy — to leave school and attend court at City Hall to deal with their tickets. In doing so, kids would often miss a half day or more of class … all to deal with a case that started with them missing class in the first place.

The solution was just as simple: Move Municipal Court to the schools.

That’s what Chris, in partnership with school leaders, did. And it’s working.

Learn more in the presentation Chris gave here. Here are the benefits from it …

  • Less non-appearances (default judgements)
  • Much higher engagement with schools
  • Greatly reducing the amount of class time missed
  • Greatly reducing the amount of juveniles loitering at City Hall during the day

We continue to innovate in ways big and small in city government, and we must always strive to do better in delivering the services you fund with your taxpayer money more efficiently and more effectively.

And when we can work with the schools to do it, all the better.

That is why I will always get behind ideas like this.


Filed under South Milwaukee

2 responses to “Bring Municipal Court to School

  1. June Marie Ruszczynski

    Wow, this seems brilliant! It’s surprising that it hasn’t been done before, but it never would’ve occurred to me. Great idea!

  2. craig maass

    I agree wholeheartedly with June. Innovative thinking like this are the sort of things that elevate our schools, city and community as a whole. Thank you, to our city attorney and school officials who worked together to make this happen. I suspect and hope neighboring communities (and more) will see what we’re doing and bring it to their communities as well.

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