Courts Offer a “Day in the Life” of Their Problem-Solving Courts

Last fall, several Maryland courts invited state and local elected officials, as well as business and community leaders, to see a problem-solving court in action and discuss the program’s role in the community.

Problem-solving courts respond to the underlying problems that bring certain people into court—drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, and/or family or personal issues. These rigorous treatment court programs combines ongoing judicial oversight with intensive treatment and supervision. The program identifies appropriate persons and places them under ongoing judicial monitoring, drug and/or alcohol testing, and community supervision, in combination with long-term treatment services. Participation is voluntary.

Maryland has 40 problem-solving courts, most of them dealing with drug or alcohol problems. National research shows drug courts are successful and cost effective for dealing with drug-addicted offenders in the criminal justice system.

The courts that held open houses to provide an insider’s view of their problem-solving courts included: