Therapeutic Courts

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Therapeutic Courts

Through out the court system there is a up and coming alternate approach to sentencing, this approach is called therapeutic court. Therapeutic court is an alternate sentencing that can either shorten the jail time the offender was sentenced to or erase any chance of the offender serving any jail time at all. This sentencing combines both individual counseling as well as group counseling, also allowing these counselors to give random check ups with home visits and strict supervision. This type of court gives nonviolent offenders the chance to not only to stay out of prison but also the chance to better themselves by completing this “rehab like” sentencing and beating their addiction of drugs/alcohol. The history of therapeutic courts started in the mid 1980s when drug cases increased due to the war on drugs crackdown. More and more people were being arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned for possession of illegal drugs. As time went on, drug abuse violations grew to “the largest single category of police activity - more than 1.5 million per year”(America’s Courts pg106) the majority of these crimes taking place in the countries largest urban areas. With the rapid increase of caseloads that were not seen as extremely dangerous crimes, courts soon began to seek alternative methods to help manage this drug abuse crisis. The idea that was created is known as drug courts and they viewed offenders not as criminals but as offenders with a drug abuse addiction. Soon after the establishment of these drug courts came other problem solving courts such as DUI, domestic violence, and mental health courts, all of which have a specific population that they target/offer these problem solving courts to.

There are multiple reasons why these courts exist including keeping people out of expensive prison systems, keeping non violent offenders out of…...

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