UMKC Law Review


Problem-solving courts work. We know that reentry programs and intensive supervision programs like drug courts are effective alternatives to incarceration that reduce recidivism. For example, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri's Reentry Court has an 85.7% success rate for graduates, meaning they complete their term of supervised release without any new charges. A reduction of recidivism means hefty savings of tax-payer dollars. More importantly, successful problem-solving courts mean people engage in their communities, raise families, work productive jobs, and pay taxes.

Courts and legislators and executive branches around the country are increasingly turning to problem solving courts to address the trauma, addictions, and behaviors that underly the criminal behavior. A one size fits all approach won't work. The article by the team of the Western District of Missouri Reentry Court is providing an interesting look inside how we function. We are not perfect, and even after thirteen years, experience continues to teach us lessons.