Making Change Permanent: Problem-Solving Innovation in a Centralized Setting

Aubrey Fox, Center for Court Innovation

Across the country, court leaders in states like California, Louisiana, Ohio and New York are seeking to transfer successful practices of drug courts and other problem-solving courts (e.g. enhanced screening and assessment, expanded sanctioning options, judicial monitoring) into a centralized court setting. They face a number of challenging questions: Which problem-solving principles travel easily and which do not? Does adopting a problem-solving approach come with a hefty price tag? What new measures of success (referrals to long-term drug treatment, reduced recidivism, improved confidence in justice) can courts adopt to motivate institutional change? And how do you overcome resistance to problem-solving from reluctant judges and attorneys? The 'Making Change Permanent' essay will draw upon interview with court administrators and scholars, as well as empirical evidence from a range of research reports and published articles.

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Updated 05/20/2006