Specialty courts have evolved significantly over recent years to address various underlying issues that may have led to a person to engage in criminal behavior. These courts are often referred to as “problem-solving courts.” Some of these problem solving courts include drug court, veteran’s court, teen court, or homeless court.
Search the library and the Internet and research a problem solving court in your community or state.
Briefly describe and identify the major components of this court.
Generally speaking, what are some of the criminological theories that serve as a foundation for this specialty court? Explain.
What are the major issues that need to be addressed through this court with this special population of offenders? Explain.
Does Cognitive Restructuring play a role in this court’s process? Explain.
If Cognitive Restructuring is used, what are the most challenging elements of it with this special population?
Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.
Problem-solving courts have developed in the United States to address specific types of crimes or social problems. The courts differ from the conventional justice models since they emphasize one type of crime or criminal. Parties in the justice system, including a judge and parole authority, collaborate to implement interventions that help the individual change. While many problem-solving crimes have existed for decades, one of the new types in the state is domestic violence courts (DVCs).
Domestic Violence Courts
The courts solve cases involving spouses and other intimate partners. The domestic violence courts emerged in the 1990s to address serious cases that need careful considerations within the justice system (Gutierrez et al. 75). The courts ensure careful follow-up with cases, support the victims of abuse, and collaborate with social and justice agencies to hold the perpetrator accountable for the crime. The courts aim to address such cases efficiently and apply the law in reducing the rate of domestic violence in society.
Major Components of Domestic Violence Courts
The components of domestic violence courts include the legal foundation for trying and hearing relevant cases. The criminal justice system uses judges who listen to cases brought before them to provide justice to victims and order interventions towards their treatment. The court uses law enforcement officers to apprehend accused persons and bring them before the court. The parole authority also plays a role in the court to support the rehabilitation of offenders. Social and justice agencies collaborate with the court to protect victims and ensure that the offender is held accountable.
Criminological Theories that Serve as a Foundation for Domestic Violence Courts
Domestic violence courts emanate from the community policing model in which law enforcement officers collaborate with community members to get solutions to their problems. Problem-solving theories focus on crime and social disorder. Hence, Social Control Theory and Social Disorganization Theory are among the theories that form the basis for domestic violence courts (Morgan and Jasinski 392). The theories view crime as a social problem that the justice system can address by fixing social factors that place individuals at the risk of offending.
Issues that need to be addressed
The issues that need to be addressed using the Domestic Violence Courts are the social factors that place individuals at the risk of becoming perpetrators and victims of domestic violence. For example, cases of domestic violence have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to isolation and financial challenges (Anurudran et al. 255). Social disorder and disorganization require a solution for domestic violence cases to reduce.
The Role of Cognitive Restructuring
Regardless of the social reality associated with domestic violence, cognitive restructuring (CR) is necessary in addressing the problem. The psychotherapeutic model of learning to deal with maladaptive or irrational thoughts can be a part of treatment and rehabilitation for perpetrators of domestic violence. However, the process should occur within a social context to address individual and social risk factors. Besides, the model could cause challenges since it will limit the individual’s causative factors instead of addressing social causes of domestic violence. For instance, the court could use cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat an individual, but failure to change the social factors will place the person at risk of re-offending.
Domestic violence courts are among the problem-solving courts in the US justice system. The system addresses domestic violence as a social issue. The courts speed up and provide an efficient mechanism to provide justice for the victim, make the perpetrator accountable, provide treatment, and address the social issue. Therefore, it is necessary in remaining communities, especially during the pandemic period when domestic violence cases have increased.
Anurudran, Ashri, et al. “Domestic violence amid COVID‐19.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics vol. 150, no..2, 2020, pp. 255-256.
Gutierrez, Leticia, Julie Blais, and Guy Bourgon. “Do domestic violence courts work? A meta-analytic review examining treatment and study quality.” Justice Research and Policy vol. 17, no.2, 2016, pp. 75-99.
Morgan, Rachel E., and Jana L. Jasinski. “Tracking violence: using structural-level characteristics in the analysis of domestic violence in Chicago and the state of Illinois.” Crime & Delinquency vol. 63, no.4, 2017), pp. 391-411.