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Problems With "The Problem of Problem-Solving Courts"

Last week, a new article on problem-solving courts came across my radar. Written by Erin R. Collins, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, “The Problem of Problem-Solving Courts,” attempts a revisionist history of problem-solving justice.  As I read it, Collins makes three principal arguments against problem-solving courts:
1. “Problem-solving courts also emerged to solve a problem internal to the judicial process itself: a growing sense of judicial dissatisfaction and disempowerment caused by the rise of structured and mandatory sentencing schemes.”
Collins claims (with no empirical evidence) that, essentially, judges across the United States came to feel powerless as a result of sentencing schemes that limited their discretion and have sought to use problem-solving courts to increase their authority.
Despite the lack of supporting data, it is of course possible that mandatory sentencing laws may have been a factor in the rise of problem-solving courts. But, to parap…

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