Specialized Courts Essay

Specialized Courts Essay

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Specialized Courts
“Specialized courts differ from traditional courts in that they focus on one type of offense or offender. Usually the judge plays an intensive supervisory role. Other criminal justice components (e.g., probation) and social services agencies (e.g., drug treatment) are involved and collaborate closely in case processing.” (Office of Justice Programs [OJP], 2008). High statistical correlations between offenders may demonstrate a need or possibility of specialized courts. These courts focus on the underlying issues behind the offending and try to cure it at it’s roots (NIJ, 2008). There are a variety of specialty courts such as drug, domestic violence, and restorative justice.
Drug courts are, as the title states, for offenders with drug problems. The participants chosen for this method agree to terms of treatment, drug testing, and counseling. Their participation can lower their sentences and sanctions or even drop the charges against them completely. Supervision is used to monitor the offender’s participation in the various programs they are assigned, while also verifying their abstinence from drug use through testing (National Criminal Justice Reference Service, 2011). According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service website, in 2009, there were about 2,400 drug courts in the U.S. These courts are separated into smaller categories based on the age or circumstances of the offenders, such as juveniles, adults, families, veterans, and even college students (OJP, 2010).
Domestic violence is another area that the court has decided needs special focus. This issue is very sensitive and can create higher threats against the victims involved in the cases. The Judicial Oversight Demonstration (J...


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...er 2010). Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/courts/drug-courts/welcome.htm
In the spotlight. (2011). National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/drug_courts/Summary.html
Judicial oversight demonstration initiative. Office on Violence Against Women. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/jodi.htm
National report. (2009). Correctional Service of Canada. Retrieved March 14, 2010, from http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/rj/rj2009/rep09-eng.shtml
Restorative justice. (2011). Restorative Justice Online. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from www.restorativejustice.org/
Specialized courts. (February 2008). Office of Justice Programs. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/courts/specialized-courts.htm

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