Problem-solving justice seeks to go beyond processing cases to solve the problems that bring people to court.
Problem-solving justice traces its roots to community and problem-oriented policing, which encouraged officers to identify patterns of crime, address the underlying conditions that fuel crime, and actively engage the community. Today, thousands of problem-solving courts are testing new approaches to difficult cases where social, human, and legal problems intersect. For example, community courts work with citizens to address local problems through individualized services and community restitution; drug and mental health courts seek to return those with substance use and mental disorders to society as productive citizens; and domestic violence courts emphasize accountability and victim safety.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center has become an international model of justice reform by implementing innovative strategies that have reduced the use of jail, lowered recidivism and strengthened public confidence in justice.
This brief outlines successful prosecutor-researcher collaborations and offers ideas to improve the working relationships of prosecutors and researchers. It was written by the Center for Court Innovation in collaboration with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice.