Trends in Court Management Analysis (Term Paper Sample)
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Trends in Courts Management
Trends in Courts Management
American criminal justice system has constantly been marred by criticism. Various trends have emerged to enhance its effectiveness and to address these criticisms. Specialized courts have been a popular trend in the justice system in the last three decades. All states have adopted this practice and its popularity continues to grow. High costs of operating courts, victim rights concerns and other related issues has also resulted in the trend of court consolidation and restructuring of victims’ rights laws. This paper will explain how specialized courts and court consolidation and restructuring and how they impact court functions. This paper also aim to show changes the court agencies have made to address these issues and their effectiveness.
Specialized or specialty courts have been an emerging trend in American justice system since 1980s. These courts are considered problem-solving courts since they are used to provide a more individualized and rehabilitative treatment for various offenders with a goal of eradicating significant causes of preventable deaths and minimizing recidivism rates. These courts aim to provide treatment to convicts instead of punishment. For this reason, they attempt to reduce future contracts with the criminal justice system (Wamsley, 2019). Common examples of specialized courts include mental health courts, drug courts, and veterans’ courts.
Programs offered in each specialized courts are designed to address underlying problems that make various offenders enter the criminal justice system in the first place. Mental health courts, for instance, provide counselling programs and psychotropic medication for individuals and groups. Where necessary, specialized courts aim at linking offenders to a number of services, including education and housing in addition to employment training.
Specialized courts influence how courts complete their function in significant ways. These courts are primarily effective in engaging participants in positive ways. According to Slobogin (2020), specialty courts result in positive and desired outcomes since participants have positive perception about them. When participants have faith in these courts, they are more inclined to adhere to rehabilitation and treatment plans and avoid acts that may lead them in trouble in the future. Besides have faith in these courts, participants report treatment with respect and dignity and a voice in the treatment process, unlike traditional courts. Judges and offenders interaction in these courts is also friendlier as they are characterized by praise and encouragement.
The Impact of Court Consolidation and Restructuring on Victim Rights Laws
Court consolidation and restructuring are another great example of trends in the justice system. This trend is a form of rebuilding that brings together all state judicial officials to a solitary court circuit. The concern that there are excess courts and judges in the districts or at the municipal levels operating at higher costs motivates consolidation and restructuring. The goals of consolidation and restructuring include determining appropriate number of courts and judges and at each level of a jurisdiction, determining which courts to merge and location for their merger, and creating subject matter jurisdiction and the development of specialized divisions (Bazelon & Green, 2019). Consolidation of courts has resulted in better deployment of and uses of judges and other judicial officials. The process has also eliminated overlapping and fragmented jurisdiction as well as streamlining and expediting trial and appellate process.
All fifty states and the federal government have various laws highlighting how victims should be treated. Various states have implemented specific policies that have restructured victim rights. For example, to ensure that victims of juvenile crimes are protected, states have enforced bills of rights as way of stretching fundamental rights to victims of offenders in the juvenile justice system (Slobogin, 2020). This act of restructuring has reinforced victims’ right to disposition of proceeding without unreasonable delay. Restructuring victim rights can also result in enhanced services and outreach of victims and relations with other related agencies within the criminal justice system. Generally, effects of restructuring victims’ rights laws are positive, but they can also be negative. According to Wamsley (2019), restructuring victims’ rights laws has lengthened prison sentences, raise the number of pleas and agreement, and cause case delays.
Changes Made by Court Agencies and their Effectiveness
One of the changes court agencies have implemented at local, state, and federal in regard to issues associated with specialty courts is leveraging existing resources and applying best practices. Various standards for implementing specialty courts have been developed by the National Center for Courts and the Council State Governments (Bazelon & Green, 2019). Jurisdictions that have adhered to these standards have reported success, including reduced rates of recidivism and lower costs of running courts. For example, Illinois developed standards for all specialty courts in 2015, setting minimum requirements for planning, operation, and certification (Garrett, Jakubow & Monahan, 2019).
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