Problem-Solving Criminal Justice Initiative

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Problem-solving Criminal Justice Initiative We can all agree that an important goal of the American criminal justice system is rehabilitation. It expects that most, if not all, offenders to learn from his or her wrongdoing and become productive members of society (Ballenstedt, 2008). It is this thinking at the heart of a community-based initiative that is designed to bring law enforcement officials together to form a single concerted effort to identify and address patterns of crime, mitigate the underlying conditions that fuel crime, and engage the community as an active partner (Wolf, Prinicples of Problem-Solving Justice, 2007). It was this effort that identified the problem as failures of the judicial process. These failures included sluggish courts, increased levels of recidivism, and a significant loss of public trust (Ballenstedt, 2008). To solve the problem, the program takes a multifaceted approach to punishment in non-violent cases. Through the program, justices have more options available to them when sentencing such offenses as drug possession, prostitution, or even shoplifting. The concept combines social services with punishment in order to reduce reliance on expensive and ineffective short-term jail sentences for non-violent offenders and boost the community’s confidence in the system (Ballenstedt, 2008). This concept, however, is not new. Problem-solving justice programs can trace their roots to several innovations in policing including community and problem-oriented policing. This was the basis for replacing law enforcement’s traditional role of responding, identifying patterns of crime, mitigating the underlying conditions, and engaging the community (Wolf, Prinicples of Problem-Solving Justice, 2007). New p... ... middle of paper ... ... 2008).” Today, states are at various stages of attempting to coordinate problem-solving courts. These courts are often complex, involve new partnerships, new roles, and of course new players both in and outside the courthouse. It is important to understand that each problem-solving court will be shaped by local circumstances. As such, problem-solving justice remains as much an uncharted territory today as when it was first introduced. Works Cited Ballenstedt, B. (2008, May 1). :FEATURES: :Imperfect Justice (5/1/08) -- GovExec.com. Retrieved August 1, 2010, from Government Executive.com: http://www.govexec.com/features/0508-01/0508-01s3.htm Wolf, R. (2009). A New Way of Doing Business. Bureau of Justice Assistance, Center for Court Innovation. Wolf, R. (2007). Prinicples of Problem-Solving Justice. Bureau of Justice Assistance, Center for Court Innovation.

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