OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER 12th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT of FLORIDA LARRY L. EGER, Public Defender Serving, DeSoto, Manatee, & Sarasota Counties

Community Care Court

Community Care Court


The Sarasota Community Care Court is a problem solving specialty court which first began January 8, 2019. This court is dedicated to serving homeless individuals of Sarasota County. Community Care Court seeks to engage chronic and long-term homeless individuals and provide them with services and opportunities to change and improve their life-style.

Community Care Court is voluntary, allowing participants to choose to enter as an alternative to dealing with pending non-violent city criminal ordinances and qualified misdemeanor offenses. We have monthly court dockets monitoring the progress of each participant and making the program available to those who would like to change and improve their lifestyle. The participants are working with the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the social service providers in between the monthly court sessions. Those persons who successfully complete the court program, will have their charges dismissed or reduced.

Defendants who participate are referred to services to assist with:

  • Housing and housing vouchers
  • Job searches
  • Vocational resources
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Mental health counseling

Case managers will assist with paperwork and referrals to the appropriate agencies to address the day to day needs of the defendants.

Defendants who participate will be required to meet with the presiding judge once a month to discuss their progress and compliance with the program. The entire HOT staff and the attorneys are present at these hearings and discussions are done in the courtroom. Progress reports are given to the judge throughout the participants participation. 

There are no financial requirements for participation in Community Care Court.

The only eligibility requirement for Community Care Court is a desire by the Defendant to change their life situation.

Defendants can be referred to Community Care Court by request, or by the presiding Judge. To participate, a defendant will need to be placed on the appropriate community care court date.

Championing the accused with the utmost professionalism and humanity