As Mental Health Courts Grow, So Does Chance to Humanize Justice

January 21, 2015 8:57 PM

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The human rights and criminal justice debacle pertaining to the criminalization of persons with serious mental illness in the U.S. continues to wreak social and economic havoc. Yet the tides are beginning to turn as more judges in the U.S. and around the world choose to apply alternative justice philosophies, such as Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ). TJ is a revolutionary and global law reform philosophy developed by two visionary mental health and disability law professors, David B. Wexler and the late Bruce J. Winick, who had a shared vision that courts could act as therapeutic agents. The TJ movement has expanded to courts of general jurisdiction, as TJ in the mainstream celebrates its second year.

Recently, Australian Behavioral Health Legal Researcher Michele Edgely published her second research article on mental health courts, "Solution Oriented Courts and Therapeutic Jurisprudence." After surveying 400 mental health courts in the U.S. and other international mental health courts. She found...

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