What are Therapeutic Justice Courts?

Therapeutic Justice Courts (TJCs), also called Problem Solving Courts, Specialty Courts, Recovery Courts, Treatment Courts or Collaborative Justice Courts, focus on education, healing, and restoration for criminal offenders, their victims, and the community.

TJCs have operated in the United States as an alternative to criminal adjudication or incarceration for more than 20 years. These types of courts provide a collaborative, multidisciplinary, problem-solving approach that addresses the underlying causes of an offender’s criminal conduct by offering social services to participants as an alternative to regular criminal court with the goals of rehabilitation and recidivism reduction.

Research has shown that TJC programs can reduce recidivism, save taxpayers money by decreasing criminal justice costs, increase public safety, and reintegrate offenders back into society more effectively than traditional criminal adjudication.

TJCs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and may differ in focus, eligibility criteria, and policies. However, TJC programs are generally voluntary, non-adversarial legal proceedings offered to those charged with or convicted of non-violent crimes.

TJCs typically focus on one type of offense or offender with unique needs. Some of the more common TJCs include:

  • Drug Court
  • Mental Health Court
  • Domestic Violence Court
  • Veterans Court
  • DUI / DWI Court
  • Homeless Court

Restorative Justice and Community Courts also fall under the category of TJCs.

Below are links to state TJCs.

AL AK AR AZ CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI IA ID IL IN KS KY

LA MA MD ME MI MN MO MS MT NC ND NE NH NJ NM NY

NV OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WI WV WY

Listen to a podcast review of Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren’s book, A Court of Refuge: Stories from the Bench of America’s First Mental Health Court.

The information on this website is intended as general legal information only and should not form the basis of legal advice of any kind. Individuals seeking specific legal advice should consult a lawyer.

 

 

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Written by 

New Jersey lawyer turned writer and social justice advocate.