Problem-Solving Courts and the Criminal Justice System

ISBN : 9780190844820

David DeMatteo; Kirk Heilbrun; Alice Thornewill; Shelby Arnold
272 ページ
156 x 156 mm

Problem-solving courts provide judicially supervised treatment for behavioral health needs commonly found among criminal offenders, including substance abuse and mental health disorders, and they treat a variety of offender populations. These courts employ a team-based approach consisting of a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, and treatment providers, representing a significant paradigm shift in how the justice system treats offenders with special needs. Despite the proliferation of problem-solving courts, there remains some uncertainty about how they function, how effective they are, and the most promising ways to implement problem-solving justice. Problem-Solving Courts and the Criminal Justice System provides a comprehensive foundation of knowledge related to problem-solving courts and the role they play in the United States criminal justice system. The book begins with an overview that explores precipitating factors in these courts' development, relevant political influence, and their history, purposes, benefits, and drawbacks, followed by a detailed discussion of specific types of problem solving courts, including drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans courts, among many others. Next a review of the legal and ethical considerations of alternative methods to standard prosecution is complemented by an examination of the methodological challenges faced by researchers when attempting to study the effectiveness of problem-solving courts. The book concludes with a discussion of future directions in terms of research, practice, and policy relating to these courts in the United States. Problem-Solving Courts and the Criminal Justice System is appropriate for professionals, researchers, and students in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, and law.


1. Current Issues in the Criminal Justice System: Introduction to Problem-Solving Courts
2. Alternatives to Standard Prosecution: Problem-Solving Courts
3. Clinical Interventions in Problem-Solving Courts
4. Drug Courts
5. Mental Health Courts
6. Other Specialty Courts
7. Reentry Courts
8. Methodological Challenges in Researching Problem-Solving Courts
9. Ethical and Legal Considerations in Problem-Solving Courts
10. Problems-Solving Courts: Present Status and Future Directions
List of Cases


David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University, and Director of Drexel's JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology. His research interests include offender diversion, psychopathic personality, and forensic mental health assessment. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 12 and 41) and board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a past president of the American Psychology-Law Society.; Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University. His research interests include forensic mental health assessment, risk assessment and risk reduction, and diversion. He is board certified in clinical psychology and in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in six divisions. He received the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and Law award in 2016 from the American Psychology-Law Society, of which he is a former president.; Alice Thornewill, JD, MS, is a 7th-year student in the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology at Drexel University. She received a master's degree in psychology from Drexel University in 2018, and she graduated summa cum laude from Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law in 2018. She anticipates receiving her PhD in Clinical Psychology (forensic concentration) from Drexel University in 2020. Her research interests include re-entry, offender diversion, problem-solving justice, prison reform, therapeutic interventions for justice-involved populations, and human rights.; Shelby Arnold, PhD, received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology from Drexel University in 2019. Her research interests include problem-solving courts (particularly mental health courts), offender re-entry, and the use of evidence-based clinical interventions for justice-involved individuals and individuals with severe mental illness.