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Problem-solving courts represent a shift in the way courts are handling certain offenders and working with key stakeholders in the justice system. In this approach, the court works closely with prosecutors, public defenders, probation officers, social workers, and other justice system partners to develop a strategy that will pressure an offender into completing a treatment program and abstaining from repeating the behaviors that brought them to court.
Problem-solving court strategies include extended probation, frequent appearances before a judge, frequent meetings with probation officers, staggered sentencing that breaks up jail time into segments and allows the participant to "earn" reductions in jail time with good behavior, and regular alcohol and other drug testing.
Research shows that this approach has proven more effective than traditional court strategies at reducing repeat offenses. This is especially true for certain offenders, such as those having a high recidivism potential. Problem-solving courts result in more defendants turning their lives around and becoming healthy, law-abiding citizens. Research also shows that when these strategies are implemented correctly, they improve public safety and save taxpayer dollars.
Mental Health Courts
Domestic Violence Courts
Minnesota Problem-Solving Courts Program
105 Minnesota Judicial Center (MJC)
25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
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