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.
Since 2016, the community court in Eugene, Oregon, has met every week in the downtown library. It's part of an effort getting a lot of attention on the West Coast to bring problem-solving justice to more accessible, friendlier settings. On the latest edition of our podcast, hear from the court administrator who helped bring the new model to Eugene.
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.