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Assessing the Case for Formal Recognition and Expansion of Federal Problem-Solving Courts

Volume 80 Number 3
December 2016

Although not formally recognized by the Judicial Conference of the United States, some form of problem-solving court operates in nearly half of federal district courts. Advocates argue that it is time for federal problem-solving courts to be formally recognized and expanded, while opponents argue that empirical support for them is still lacking. In this article the author summarizes their history in the federal system, the handful of federal studies on them, the arguments for and against formal recognition, and suggestions for the future.