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Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Problem-Solving Courts

Since the early 1990s, scholars have begun to consider mental disability law issues through the filter of therapeutic jurisprudence, a model by which to assess the impact of case law and legislation affecting persons with mental disabilities. Therapeutic jurisprudence studies the role of the law as a therapeutic agent, recognizing that judicial decisions and statutes, courtroom procedures, and lawyers’ roles may have either therapeutic or antitherapeutic consequences and questions whether such rules, procedures, and roles can or should be reshaped so as to enhance their therapeutic potential, while not subordinating due process principles. Problem-solving courts, such as mental health courts, are important exemplars of the practical utility of therapeutic jurisprudence. Such courts are grounded and rooted in therapeutic jurisprudence, and they reflect therapeutic jurisprudence theory ...

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