© 2013

Problem Solving Courts

Social Science and Legal Perspectives

  • Richard L. Wiener
  • Eve M. Brank
  • Covers the full range of problem-solving courts

  • The most comprehensive coverage of the topic with contributions by leading experts

  • Provides the existing research base and indications for future research directions


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Dependency Specialty Courts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Sophia I. Gatowski, Shirley A. Dobbin, Alicia Summers
      Pages 33-53
    3. Victoria Weisz
      Pages 55-62
  3. Domestic Violence Specialty Courts

  4. Mental Health Courts, Global and Philosophic View of Problem Solving Courts

  5. Epilogue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-237
    2. Eve M. Brank, Joshua A. Haby
      Pages 239-251
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 253-256

About this book


Substance abuse. Child welfare. Domestic violence. Mental illness. Cases revolving around these concerns keep the court system under constant stress, often resulting in less than satisfactory outcomes. In contrast, problem solving courts offer an innovative alternate path where traditional courts leave off, an encouraging environment with the potential to benefit offenders, victims, and society alike.  

Problem Solving Courts explores the concepts and practices of therapeutic jurisprudence for professionals in the legal and psychology fields. Differences from traditional criminal courts are analyzed through a number of perspectives, particularly as problem solving courts require offenders to receive rehabilitative services instead of harsher punishment.  By focusing on solutions and being collaborative rather than adversarial, these courts are seen as curbing recidivism and the "revolving door" scenarios frequently associated with legal process. Coverage includes case vignettes from successful programs across the U.S. as well as Australia and New Zealand, and contributors examine training and other issues relevant to the problem solving model. Among the topics featured: 

  • The union of science and law in child welfare cases.
  • Mental health courts: competence, responsibility, and proportionality.
  • Gender issues in problem solving courts.
  • Unified family courts: an interdisciplinary framework.
  • Intended and unintended consequences of problem solving courts.
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence in practice.

Blending basic and in-depth information across disciplines, Problem Solving Courts offers psychologists, family law specialists, family therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, and legal and psychology practitioners a deeper understanding of this transformative aspect of the justice system.


A Trans-Tasman comparative perspective Domestic violence Juvenile justice Mental health court Recidivism Therapeutic Jurisprudence Truancy dependency cases dependency courts domestic violence courts family court gender issues judicial roles law in child welfare legal perspectives problem-solving courts

Editors and affiliations

  • Richard L. Wiener
    • 1
  • Eve M. Brank
    • 2
  1. 1., Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2., Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors


"The good news for readers of Problem Solving Courts is that the various chapters are well written without the abrupt changes in style sometimes experienced in edited volumes. Whether for an upper level undergraduate or a graduate student with an interest in psychology and the law or for professionals in the field, a clear picture of the rationales for problem solving courts and of generic implications for practice—psychological, social, legal—is provided."
Richard W. Bloom
December 18, 2013, Vol. 58, No. 49, Article 4