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Written byRobert V. Wolf2007This publication was supported by Grant No. 2005-PP-CX-K0008awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of JusticeAssistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, whichalso includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute ofJustice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view and opinions inthis document are those of the author and do not necessarily repre-sent official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.About the AuthorRobert V. Wolf is director of communications at the Center for CourtInnovation. AcknowledgementsAppreciation is extended to the following individuals who reviewedand commented on earlier versions of these principles: Pam Casey,National Center for State Courts; Cait Clarke, consultant, formerdirector of the National Defender Leadership Institute; William F.Dressel, The National Judicial College; John Goldkamp, TempleUniversity; C. West Huddleston III, National Association of DrugCourt Professionals; Steven Jansen, National District AttorneysAssociation; Wendy Lindley, Orange County (California) SuperiorCourt; Judy Harris Kluger, New York State Unified Court System;Timothy Murray, Pretrial Justice Institute; and Carol Roberts, RamseyCounty (Minnesota) Community Corrections. The author would alsolike to thank Liberty Aldrich, Greg Berman, Carol Fisler, A. Elizabeth
Griffith, Julius Lang, Adam Mansky, Preeti P. Menon, Kim Norris,Valerie Raine, Al Siegel, Carolyn Turgeon, and Chris Watler for theirinput.Problem-solving justice can trace its theoretical roots to innovations in policing,particularly community and problem-oriented policing, which attempted to replacetraditional law enforcement’s focus on responding to individual offenses with afocus on identifying and addressing patterns of crime, ameliorating the underlyingconditions that fuel crime, and engaging the community as an active partner.1In the 1990s, these new policing strategies helped inspire similar approaches inthe rest of the criminal justice system, helping give rise to innovations like commu-nity prosecution, community courts, and problem-solving probation. These newexperiments shared an emphasis on data analysis, community engagement, crimeprevention, and problem solving. At their core was the idea that it was no longerenough just to arrest, process, and adjudicate an offender, but law enforcementofficers, prosecutors, judges, and probation officers also needed to try to reducerecidivism, improve public confidence in justice, and prevent crime down the road.These ideas influenced not only community courts but the other specializedcourts—drug, domestic violence, reentry, mental health courts—that emerged inthe United States in the 1990s. It was while describing these various court initia-tives that New York State’s chief judge, Judith S. Kaye, catapulted the idea of “prob-lem-solving justice” to a national audience. Kaye, in a column in Newsweek in 1999,