Problem Solving Courts
Consistent with a national movement toward Smart Justice in the American criminal justice system, Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit has expanded cost-effective Problem-Solving Courts which are proven effective in reducing recidivism and helping offenders rehabilitate from afflictions. Problem Solving Courts in the Fourth Judicial Circuit include Mental Health Court (offered in Duval/Nassau Counties), Adult Drug Court (offered in Duval/Clay Counties), Veterans Treatment Court (offered in Duval/Clay Counties), and Juvenile Drug Court (offered in Duval County), are designed to assist clients whose entry into the criminal justice system came about due to an underlying mental health disorder or substance use disorder. Through a year-long supervised treatment program, the client is able to address the underlying issue and will have the tools to keep from coming back into the criminal justice system.
Problem Solving Courts have proven to be more effective at lowering recidivism and reducing costs than any other system used in American jurisprudence. Clients may be referred to the Problem Solving Court’s as 1) diversion; 2) post-plea but prior to sentencing (a plea-to-complete); or 3) post-conviction. Clients who successfully complete the program as a diversion or post-plea case will have their charges dismissed. Client who successfully complete the program on a post-conviction basis will avoid a lengthy and costly jail or prison sentence.