Skip to main content


Link Copied

Ep25: Problem-solving courts – compassion or control?

Alexandra Kimmons
29 Sep 2023

Problem-solving courts have long been hailed as a progressive alternative to traditional punishment. In theory, these experimental courtrooms recognise and address the root causes of crime and humanise those who come into contact with the criminal justice system. And some research shows they lead to better outcomes. But today we ask: are problem-solving courts the answer, or are they a barrier to putting resources where they really need to be?

Hosts Rob and Penelope are joined by Phil Bowen, Director for the Centre for Justice Innovation, and Jocelyn Simonson, Professor at Brooklyn Law School. They discuss why problem-solving courts have continued to attract interest, how they measure up to traditional forms of punishment, and where we should focus our efforts if want to reduce crime.

Phil Bowen @CJInnovation

Read more about problem-solving courts and Phil’s work here:

Jocelyn Simonson @j_simonson

Order Jocelyn’s new book ‘Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People Are Dismantling Mass Incarceration’ here:

Transform Justice

Website: ⁠⁠

Twitter: @TransformJust1

Email: [email protected]

The Transform Justice podcast is hosted by Penelope Gibbs and Rob Allen and produced and edited by Alexandra Kimmons. With thanks to Burges Salmon LLP for use of their space.