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New Way of Doing Business: A Conversation About the Statewide Coordination of Problem-Solving Courts

NCJ Number
Date Published
17 pages
This paper summarizes a roundtable on the topic of statewide coordination of problem-solving courts which took place in April 2008 in Washington, DC.
The roundtable discussion was led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Center for Court Innovation and included participation of 18 policymakers, researchers, and practitioners. Findings show that States are at varied stages of attempting to coordinate problem-solving courts. While everyone seemed to agree that coordination had advantages in terms of mustering resources, setting standards, coordinating with other justice agencies, and sponsoring and disseminating research, not everyone agreed on what form coordination should take, how it should be achieved, or what its ultimate goals should be. Individual problem-solving courts are complex, involving new partnerships, new roles, and new players both in and outside the courthouse. Given that each problem-solving court is typically shaped by local circumstances, the challenge of supporting and overseeing a court of this type on a statewide level is challenging; no single State can claim a successful roadmap for others to follow. The success or failure of statewide administration will go a long way toward determining whether problem-solving courts fulfill their potential. The Bureau of Justice Assistance has created a listserv for statewide coordinators and supports the continued exploration of issues around statewide coordination by encouraging participants to pose questions, share experiences, and brainstorm new strategies. Participants were drawn from a range of professions and disciplines and included judges, court administrators, researchers, policymakers, and representatives of national organizations that work on problem-solving justice. Notes

Date Published: January 1, 2009