Problem-Solving Courts are Helping to Reform the Justice System

526 Words3 Pages
I believe that one of the best reforms to our justice system is the growing number of Problem-Solving Courts. Problem-Solving Courts are specialized courts that focus on specific problems in society, such as drug abuse, prostitution, mental-health, domestic violence, etc (Courts). I have chosen drug courts more specifically to research. According to drugpolicy.org, in 2012 1.55 million people were arrested for non-violent drug charges (Drug Policy Alliance). This is an astounding amount of people being arrested, which is why I believe it is important to have problem-solving courts. Unlike traditional courts, these specialized courts address the issues that individuals have that cause them to commit crimes in order to reduce the chances of…show more content…
Possibly one of the largest obstacles in creating problem solving courts is economical/political issues. With our nation in a recession many states are seeing budget cuts. The National Center for State Courts stated that as of 2011, a large number of state and local courts had experienced budget cuts of 15 to 20 percent since 2009 (Griller, 2011). The article also stated that despite the fact that these courts are cost effective in the long run, “hard-dollar cost-per-case figures are beginning to trump soft-dollar crime-reduction benefits” (Griller, 2011). One idea to help problem solving courts make it through budget cuts is to have the court provide date periodically that shows evidence of rehabilitation, declining jail costs, and how this system is improving neighborhoods. The Seattle Municipal Court has done just this, and has managed to maintain funding to their problem solving courts while there have been budget cuts to the city government, as well as judicial position reductions (Griller, 2011). Currently, drug courts have been proven to be successful at reducing recidivism of offenders. In the United States there are about 120,000 people receiving help in order to rehabilitate them and to try to reduce the chances of recidivism (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2011). These programs require individuals to participate in the programs for a minimum of one year. During this year the individuals are required to appear in court and be drug tested at
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