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.
How effective is therapy or treatment when it's used instead of incarceration, and what are the challenges to conducting it inside the coercive context of the criminal justice system? New Thinking host Matt Watkins is joined by clinical psychologist Jacob Ham who works with justice-involved young people affected by trauma, and John Jay College's Deborah Koetzle who evaluates programs aiming to help participants rebuild lives outside of the justice system.