Collaborative justice courts-also known as problem-solving courts- combine judicial supervision with rehabilitation services that are rigorously monitored and focused on recovery to reduce recidivism and improve offender outcomes.
Examples of collaborative justice courts are community courts, domestic violence courts, drug courts, DUI courts, elder abuse courts, homeless courts, mental health courts, reentry courts, veterans courts, and courts where the defendant may be a minor or where the child's welfare is at issue. These include dating/youth domestic violence courts, drug courts, DUI court in schools program, mental health courts, and peer/youth courts.
What are Collaborative Justice Courts
Collaborative justice courts-also known as problem-solving courts-promote accountability by combining judicial supervision with rehabilitation services that are rigorously monitored and focused on recovery.
Collaborative Justice Courts are distinguished by the following elements:
- a problem-solving focus,
- a team approach to decision making,
- integration of social and treatment services,
- judicial supervision of the treatment process,
- community outreach,
- direct interaction between defendants and judge, and
- a proactive role for the judge inside and outside the courtroom.
Components of Collaborative Justice Courts
Collaborative justice key principles, as defined by the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee, based on the National Association of Drug Court Professionals' (NADCP) 10 components described in "Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components," are as follows:
- Collaborative justice courts integrate services with justice system processing.
- Collaborative justice courts emphasize achieving the desired goals without using the traditional adversarial process.
- Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the collaborative justice court program.
- Collaborative justice courts provide access to a continuum of services, including treatment and rehabilitation services.
- Compliance is monitored frequently.
- A coordinated strategy governs the court's responses to participants' compliance, using a system of sanctions and incentives to foster compliance.
- Ongoing judicial interaction with each collaborative justice court participant is essential.
- Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
- Effective collaborative justice court operations require continuing interdisciplinary education.
- Forging partnerships among collaborative justice courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations increases the availability of services, enhances the program's effectiveness, and generates local support.
- Effective collaborative justice courts emphasize a team and individual commitment to cultural competency. Awareness of and responsiveness to diversity and cultural issues help ensure an attitude of respect within the collaborative justice court setting.
In January 2000, then Chief Justice Ronald M. George appointed the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee to explore the effectiveness of such courts and advise the Judicial Council about the role of these courts in addressing complex social issues and problems that make their way to the trial courts. Formation of the committee expanded the scope of the Oversight Committee for the California Drug Court Project, which was appointed by Chief Justice George as of July 1, 1996, and continued until December 31, 1999. On August 3, 2000, the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators passed a resolution to support collaborative justice courts.
Read the complete California story of Collaborative Justice.
Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee
The Judicial Council’s Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee advises the Judicial Council regarding collaborative justice, or problem-solving, courts. It makes recommendations to the Judicial Council for developing collaborative justice courts, improving their processing of cases, and overseeing the evaluation of such courts throughout the state.
The mission of the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee is to:
- Make recommendations to the Judicial Council on criteria for identifying and evaluating collaborative justice courts;
- Assess and measure the success and effectiveness of collaborative justice courts;
- Identify local best practices;
- Recommend minimum judicial education standards and educational activities;
- Advise the council of potential funding sources;
- Make recommendations on grant funding programs administered by the AOC; and
- Recommend appropriate outreach activities to support collaborative justice courts.
Learn more about the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee.
Learn more about:
Adult collaborative justice court types include:
Domestic Violence Courts
Elder Abuse Courts
Mental Health Courts
Juvenile collaborative justice court types include:
Domestic Violence/Dating Violence Court
Juvenile Drug Court
Juvenile Mental Health Court
Where to go if you need help. For courts and court related
professionals, publications and resources are found regarding how to
establish a collaborative justice court and apply the CJ principals.
State and national resources are also listed.
Funding for adult, family, and juvenile drug courts. In
addition funding for all collaborative justice court types in California
by the Substance Abuse Focus Grant administered by the Collaborative
Justice Courts Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of California.
California's Drug Court Cost Study. Also collaborative justice studies documenting the development of problem solving courts throughout the state.
Pocket Reference: Elder Abuse
The Elder Abuse Pocket Reference
offers a comprehensive collection of medical and legal resources for California judicial officers.
Judicial Council of California
Center for Families, Children & the Courts
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 6th Floor
San Francisco, California 94102
To contact staff to the Judicial Council Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee, email CollaborativeJustice@jud.ca.gov
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