center for sustainable justice


Problem Solving Courts

Since the Drug Court system appears to be working well a few more types of specialized courts (Problem Solving Courts) have been established in which the same system is applied. There are currently 2,559 Drug Courts in operation in the United States[1]. Mental Health Courts, Homeless Courts, Re-entry Courts, Family Violence Courts, Veteran Courts, and Juvenile Courts all use comparable systems. There are currently 1219 of the other forms of Problem Solving Courts operational in the United States[2]. The Problem Solving Court system has been expanded to include Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England and Australia[3].

These specialized courts are examples of Sustainable Justice. For Drug Courts this is the case because judicial power is applied to support addicted repeat offenders to overcome his or her addiction and to help that person to build a supportive ecosystem in society. Justice is exclusively used in a constructive manner for participants and society, and the risk of recidivism is minimized through the application of justice, which makes society safer and improves the quality of the social ecosystem.
A dissertation by Suzan Verberk recently appeared entitled ’Probleemoplossend strafrecht en het ideaal van responsieve rechtspraak’[4] (Problem-Solving Criminal Justice and the Ideal of Responsive Courts), which contains a detailed description of the Drug Court system and a recommendation of the author for the establishment of a Drug Court chamber in criminal courts in the Netherlands.

[1] http://www.nadcp.org/learn/about-nadcp (gezien op 2011-05-07)

[2] See note 1.

[3] King et al. 2009, page 143.

[4]Verberk Suzan 2011, Probleemoplossend strafrecht en het ideaal van responsieve rechtspraak, Sdu Uitgevers, Den Haag.

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