Problem-Solving Justice Toolkit
Problem-Solving Courts: Models and Trends
While the most widely recognized problem-solving court is the drug court, other examples include mental health courts, domestic violence courts, homeless courts, teen courts, tobacco courts, and some forms of family courts. Generally, a problem solving court involves a single judge that works with a community team to develop a case plan and closely monitor a defendant’s compliance, imposing proper sanctions when necessary.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
This report provides information on effective court related strategies to address criminal and addictive behaviors. Information is provided on risk needs assessments, problem solving courts and collaborative justice system planning.
This Toolkit offers a blueprint for using the problem-solving approach, a form of differentiated case management for cases involving recurring contacts with the justice system due to underlying medical and social problems.
This article describes the work of new problem-solving courts created to deal specifically with the high incidence of traffic violations involving individuals under the influence of alcohol.
This article discusses how technology is used in a variety of ways to apply these innovations statewide.
Models and Trends that offer a more meaningful resolution of court cases.
This article highlights the basic principles of problem-solving courts, describes their historical development, includes a chart comparing and contrasting traditional courts versus problem-solving courts, and predicts the continued growth and increased specialization of problem-solving courts.
This article analyzes the historical and legal background work of the mental health courts (therapeutic justice and drug treatment courts) as well as addresses the challenges of working with the mentally disabled before and after court proceedings. The article also "reviews studies fo MHC operations and effectiveness and suggests future directions for MHCs."
Many trial courts will face heightened scrutiny from public-funding bodies regarding problem-solving courts. Numerous studies support the cost-effectiveness of such courts, but some court watchers see a struggle looming on the horizon.
This article describes the international movement in therapeutic jurisprudence, illustrating how it includes much more than just the problem-solving courts found in the United States.
This article discusses the growing number of veterans with a history of mental illness or substance abuse have been appearing in courts and how courts have begun to develop and implement veterans treatment courts to help veterans get their lives back on track.
This article reports how DWI courts, being nurtured by federal funding, have sprung up at a rapid pace during the past five years. Although evolving as a branch of drug courts, specialized DWI courts have tended to take root and grow more rapidly in states not saturated with drug courts and states not suffering from the highest alcohol-related fatalities. The growth rate could be sustained with a more diversified funding base and the use of technology to reduce the cost of monitoring clients.
This article details the different roles in problem-solving courts play as opposed to traditional judges, and examines the 2007 ABA Model Code in reference to problem-solving courts, specifically the unique ethical dilemmas judges in these courtrooms are prone to face.
This article presents the results of a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 trial court judges concerning the potential to apply specialized "problem-solving court" practices more broadly in conventional court settings.
This article explores how the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence actually have been applied to the courts.
This report reviews the fathering court movement and the convergence with reentry court programs.
Fathering problem-solving courts are increasing across the country, as are programs for ex-prisoners. This article reviews the current state of the field, the diverse roles courts currently have, and discusses success factors not usually identified as best practices in problem-solving courts.
DWI courts are increasing in number exponentially across the country. Modeled after the effective approach of drug courts, DWI court evaluations appear to show impressive results on reducing recidivism.