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Problem-Solving Courts: From Innovation To Institutionalization, Michael C. Dorf, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2003

Problem-Solving Courts: From Innovation To Institutionalization, Michael C. Dorf, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

The phenomenal growth of drug courts and other forms of "problem-solving" courts has followed a pattern that is characteristic of many successful innovations: An individual or small group has or stumbles upon a new idea; the idea is put into practice and appears to work; a small number of other actors adopt the innovation and have similar experiences; if there is great demand for the innovation – for example, because it responds to a widely-perceived crisis or satisfies an institutional need and resolves tensions within organizations that adopt it – the innovation rapidly diffuses through the networks in which the early adopters ...


Theorizing Community Justice Through Community Courts, Jeffery Fagan, Victoria Malkin Jan 2003

Theorizing Community Justice Through Community Courts, Jeffery Fagan, Victoria Malkin

Faculty Scholarship

Community justice practitioners argue that the justice system has long ignored its biggest clients-citizens and neighborhoods that suffer the everyday consequences of high crime levels. One response from legal elites has been a package of court innovations and new practices known as "community justice," part of a broader appeal to "community" and "partnership" common now in modern discourse on crime control. This concept incorporates several contemporary visions and expressions of justice within the popular and legal literatures: problem-solving courts (such as drug courts, mental health courts, domestic violence courts, gun courts, and, of course, juvenile courts); the inclusion of victims ...


Criminal Defenders And Community Justice: The Drug Court Example, William H. Simon Jan 2003

Criminal Defenders And Community Justice: The Drug Court Example, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

The Community Justice idea and its core institution – the Community Court – is an ambitious innovation intended to generate new solutions and practices. It thus inevitably calls for adaptation of the established roles associated with the court system, and especially the criminal justice system. It asks practitioners to learn new skills, to accept new conventions, and to participate in the elaboration of a rapidly evolving experiment.

It is thus not surprising that many lawyers are anxious about the system. It remains an interesting question, however, whether their anxiety represents something more than the discomfort that change and challenge typically bring to ...


Why Defenders Feel Defensive, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2003

Why Defenders Feel Defensive, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

The newest version of problem-solving courts has scarcely reached adolescence. Many of these courts remain in the "model" stage, attempting to create a structure and vision that will have a transformative, systemic effect. Others, drug courts in particular, have proliferated across the country and are on the verge of going to scale in many states. Lawyers representing individual clients in these courts are struggling to identify, define and perform their professional duties, at the same time that the courts are being created. To understand why it is a struggle, we need to contextualize the lawyers' experiences: what is it about ...


Problem-Solving Courts: From Innovation To Institutionalization – Foreword, Michael C. Dorf, Jeffrey Fagan Jan 2003

Problem-Solving Courts: From Innovation To Institutionalization – Foreword, Michael C. Dorf, Jeffrey Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

The phenomenal growth of drug courts and other forms of 'problem-solving' courts has followed a pattern that is characteristic of many successful innovations: An individual or small group has or stumbles upon a new idea; the idea is put into practice and appears to work; a small number of other actors adopt the innovation and have similar experiences; if there is great demand for the innovation-for example, because it responds to a widely-perceived crisis or satisfies an institutional need and resolves tensions within organizations that adopt it-the innovation rapidly diffuses through the networks in which the early adopters interact. Eventually ...