BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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What are problem-solving courts?

The Census of Problem-Solving Courts (CPSC) identified problem-solving courts as having an exclusive docket, calendar, or program that operated within the judiciary. These courts had a dedicated judicial officer who used therapeutic justice to reduce problematic or criminal behavior. Therapeutic justice is a team-based, non-adversarial approach to criminal justice that offers therapeutic treatment services. It employs strategies to reward compliance and deter noncompliance. For example, the CPSC would include a truancy court with a specialized program following truant children and offering transportation or other services because this court addressed a problematic behavior using targeted services. A court that scheduled all truancy hearings on one day for scheduling purposes would not be included if it did not offer services to help reduce truancy. The CPSC excluded federal courts and problem-solving courts that operated with a youth judge or peer jury model. The collection excluded civil courts that had a contractual component (e.g., foreclosure or business courts) because they did not have a therapeutic component.

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