The justice system often focuses on punishment instead of rehabilitation. This approach may work in some circumstances, but often, it is only making matters worse. Many people facing criminal charges have made a mistake, and all they need is a second chance.
Collaborative courts provide that second chance. They offer an alternative to the traditional process that provides the ability for an accused individual to avoid a criminal conviction.
Requires a lot of work
Nobody should confuse collaborative courts with going easy on those breaking the law. In fact, going through a collaborative court is much harder than taking the traditional route.
Individuals who are in a collaborative court will have to meet specific conditions, take ordered steps and abide by strict rules throughout the process. They also have supervision until the end of their case. It takes a team to manage collaborative cases, including social workers, probation officers, court officers, judges and, of course, the individuals facing charges.
Types of courts
A common type of collaborative court is for those facing drug charges. Typically, they get the option to pause their case while they complete various requirements, such as attending counseling, seeking job training and passing drug tests. If the person completes all the requirements, the court dismisses the charges against him or her.
California offers various collaborative courts, including those for drunk driving, juveniles and veterans. The main idea is to allow people to make amends for their wrongdoing and to move forward without a criminal record holding them back. Although, it also requires personal responsibility and willingness to follow the rules.