Miller-McCune on Problem Solving Courts

Problem solving

Miller-McCune.com, the online community of the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which harnesses current academic research with real-time reporting to address pressing social concerns, addresses the success of problem-solving courts in its long article entitled “Succor. Succor in the Court. There’s a problem with problem-solving courts: Taxpayers don’t understand how well they work.” The title may accurately imply the only problem these courts present. The full article at Miller-McCune.com can be found by clicking the link below. In part, it says:

Confirming similar findings by the Government Accountability Office, a 10-year longitudinal study by the National Institute of Justice released in 2007 followed drug court defendants from Portland, Ore., between 1991 and 2001 and found that the drug court model lowers re-arrests by between 17 and 26 percent. As a result, drug courts could produce a public savings of almost $7,000 per participant. In line with the growing body of empirical evidence, there are now nearly 2,000 drug courts across the country.

and…

Still, problem-solving courts have become increasingly relevant as policymakers look for solutions to the national prison-overcrowding problem. This year, the Pew Center on the States issued a report that identified problem-solving courts — and drug courts in particular — as an effective alternative to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.

then….

Problem-solving justice’s most vocal critic is James Nolan Jr., a criminologist from Williams College in Massachusetts. … Nolan’s chief criticism involves due process rights. “My concern is that if we make the law so concerned with being therapeutic, you forget about notions of justice such as proportionality of punishment, due process and the protection of individual rights.”

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