Therapeutic Justice and the Evolving Role of Specialty Courts

Section 1, Spring 19

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/16
Credits: 3
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
12/31/1969 12/31/1969

Course Description

This seminar will address the evolution and growth of therapeutic justice, including, but not limited to, how courts are responding to the current opioid crisis. The focus will be on the theoretical and practical aspects of drug courts, mental health courts, family courts, veterans’ courts and other specialty courts. Public policy and political implications of establishing and operating these specialty dockets will be covered as well as how they work in practical terms. There will be close examination of the unconventional roles of the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney in the largely non-adversarial setting characteristic of these courts. Myriad legal, political and financial challenges have inevitably arisen. Numerous scholarly studies have addressed whether these courts actually meet their goals, i.e., do they reduce crime, minimize incarceration, lower criminal justice costs and restore individuals suffering from addiction and/or serious mental health conditions, etc.? These issues will be addressed by the reading materials, guest speakers and class discussion. Students will be asked to observe and report on the operation of one of the local specialty courts. This could include attending a session of the adult drug treatment court, the family treatment court or any other specialty court in the area. Readings will be drawn from law and social science journals, plus other contemporary media. The range of guest speakers may include one of the following: judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, administrator, case manager and addiction/mental health treatment specialist. A “graduate” of one or more of the local specialty courts will also be included on the speaker list.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description:

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: In addition to class participation, observation of a specialty court, and a court observation report, students will be evaluated on a final substantial research paper due to be submitted via EXPO on a date to be announced (but no later than noon on the last day of the final exam period).

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: No Mutual Exclusions
Laptops Allowed: No
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: The seminar will accommodate up to 16 students with no course prerequisites required. Grading will be based on class participation and a final paper, the latter being eligible for meeting the Law School’s writing requirement.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
119210111
Law No.
LAW9248
Modified Type
Seminar
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes:
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