Judith S. Kaye


The Chief Judge of the State of New York explains how and why New York's state courts adopted a problem-solving approach to delivering justice in certain categories of cases. That approach aims to achieve more constructive interventions than conventional case resolutions, which often do not solve the underlying problem (such as drug addiction or domestic violence) that brings the same people back to court again and again. The examples of community courts, drug courts, and domestic violence courts illustrate how the problem-solving concept is applied in New York. The article also addresses two questions that have been raised about a problem-solving approach--its effectiveness and its fairness--and includes a discussion of studies that have been done to date, acknowledging the need for further evaluation and research. In conclusion, Judge Kaye explains why this approach may be worth pursuing and expanding

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