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  • © 2018

Therapeutic Justice

Crime, Treatment Courts and Mental Illness

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

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  • Offers a unique, mixed methodological qualitative and quantitative analysis of mental health courts

  • Makes recommendations for reform and offers insights about the future of mental health courts

  • Provides a nuanced understanding of how mental health courts work for both court actors and clients

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eBook
USD 34.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-78902-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

About this book

This book examines Mental Health Courts (MHC) within a socio-legal framework. Placing these courts within broader trends in criminal justice, especially problem-solving courts, the author draws from two case studies with a mixed-methods design. While court observational and interview data highlight the role of rituals and procedural justice in the practices of the court, quantitative data demonstrates the impact of incentives, mental health treatment compliance and graduating patterns from MHC in altering patterns of criminal recidivism. In utilising these methods, this book provides a new understanding of the social processes by which MHCs operate, while narrative stories from MHC participants illustrate both the potential and limitations of these courts. Concluding by charting potential improvements for the functioning and effectiveness of MHCs, the author suggests potential reforms and ‘best practices’ for the future in tandem with rigorous analysis. This book will be of value and interest to students and scholars of criminology, law, and social work, as well as practitioners.

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Courts
  • Sentencing
  • Methodology
  • Law
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • USA
  • drugs
  • crime prevention
  • justice
  • socio-legal
  • violence and crime

Reviews

“Snedker’s qualitative study is a wonderful contribution to the emergent scholarship on empirically testing law’s potential as a therapeutic agent. … the book points to the immense value of qualitative methods of inquiry for examining mental health courts, and courts more generally. I hope the book inspires others to ethnographically discover the social worlds of problem-solving court professionals and participants” (Ursula Castellano, Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 49 (3), 2020)

“The intent of this book is to educate workers of mental health court … . The book does an exemplary job of defining the use of the mental health courts, and gives clear guidelines of the execution and achievement of these courts. … This book is highly recommended to anyone beginning employment or research in mental health court. As well as other court and justice professionals who would like to incorporate aspects of therapeutic justice into their work.” (Deborah-Rae Chizek, Journal of Interprofessional Care, jicareblog.org, June 6, 2019)

“The book is beneficial in the area of contemporary mental health courts, therapeutic jurisprudence, and criminal justice reform. Therapeutic Justice is a wonderful read for all people vested in better understanding the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through faculty.” (M. G. Urbina, Choice, Vol. 56 (05), January, 2019)​
“In this book, Karen Snedker has set the stage for the next generation of mental health court reform. This innovative book mixes sociological insights with concrete dialogues taken from interviews with court participants, judges, prosecutors, probation officers and more. The author points to the many ways mental health court has been positively transformational; but in her guide to the future she also helpfully notes some not so obvious ways where we may go awry. Practical considerations combine with the importance of going beyond psychology and inviting sociology to play a larger role in the future development of therapeutic jurisprudence.” (David B. Wexler, Honorary Professor, International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Arizona, USA)

“In Therapeutic Justice, Karen Snedker offers a nuanced analysis of both the promise and pitfalls of mental health courts and therapeutic justice more generally. This case study draws on both quantitative and qualitative data, including the experiences of mental health court clients, to explore not only how well mental health courts work, but also what more can be done to enhance their therapeutic potential, what success in this context means, and how it should be evaluated. Students, academics and practitioners alike will find much to appreciate in this thoughtful and thought-provoking book.” (Katherine Beckett, University of Washington, USA and Director of Comparative Law and Society Studies Center)

“Karen Snedker’s new book, Therapeutic Justice:  Crime, Treatment Courts and Mental Illness, is a breath of fresh air in its in-depth analysis of what mental health courts are really about – what works, what doesn’t, and how these courts can be improved. Through in-depth interviews with litigants, court personnel and others, and through sociological analysis, she focuses on some of the issues that are often obscured in the academic conversation, and that are so important if we are to understand how mental health courts work in practice, and how we can improve upon them further. Not recommended reading, but compulsory reading for all in this court process and all who take these issues seriously.” (Michael L. Perlin, Founding Director of the International Mental Disability Law Reform Project, New York Law School USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, USA

    Karen A. Snedker

About the author

Karen A. Snedker is Associate Professor of Sociology at Seattle Pacific University, USA. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Affiliate Faculty in Sociology and a CSDE Research Affiliate at the University of Washington, USA. Her research interests focus on mental health, homelessness, crime and violence and neighbourhood effects, and she has published widely on these topics.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 34.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-78902-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)