January 18, 2024

Ep. 19: Problem-Solving Courts – Conversation With Judge Jeff Ford

Judge Jeff Ford (ret.), a pioneer of problem-solving courts and past president of the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts, provides an inside look into this growing approach to criminal justice and explains his experience with creating and managing problem-solving courts in Champaign County in central Illinois.
Justice Voices
Ep. 19: Problem-Solving Courts - Conversation With Judge Jeff Ford
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Show Notes

Justice Voices
Ep. 19: Problem-Solving Courts - Conversation With Judge Jeff Ford
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Problem-solving courts focus on solving problems underlying criminal behavior, rather than, as is often the case with traditional approaches to criminal justice, creating more problems than are solved. Judge Jeff Ford (ret.), a pioneer of problem-solving courts and past president of the Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts, provides an inside look into this growing approach to criminal justice and explains his experience with creating and managing problem-solving courts in Champaign County in central Illinois. The objective of such courts is to achieve more cost-effective approaches to public safety by breaking the cycle of crime-to-prison by improving outcomes among high-risk/high-need offenders. He describes how the application of this approach has transformed the lives of defendants who appeared in his court – and the lives of their families. The episode also emphasizes the importance of the right team in creating and managing effective problem-solving courts and how such a total team approach is powerful in achieving better justice and public safety outcomes in the lives of innocent family members, including children, of far greater value than the cost of operating such courts. 00:00 Introduction by host David Risley 00:09 Understanding the role of Judge Jeff Ford 01:30 The Concept of Problem Solving Paradigm of Justice 02:32 The Role of Problem Solving Courts in Addressing High Risk, High Need Individuals 03:23 The Distinctive Features of Problem Solving Courts 06:34 The Impact of Problem Solving Courts on Recidivism and Public Safety 06:48 The Economic Benefits of Problem Solving Courts 09:24 The Challenges and Limitations of Scaling Problem Solving Courts 09:51 The Variety of Problem Solving Courts: Drug, Mental Health, and Veterans Courts 12:06 The Personal Journey of Judge Jeff Ford in Establishing Problem Solving Courts 14:29 The Role of Trust and Relationship Building in Problem Solving Courts 17:19 The Success and Impact of Problem Solving Courts: Personal Stories 26:02 The Challenges and Resistance Faced in Implementing Problem Solving Courts 31:00 The Evolution and Expansion of Problem Solving Courts 37:15 Understanding DUI Court and Recidivism 38:20 The Reality of DUI and Alcohol Consumption 39:21 The Importance of Understanding and Addressing the Problem 39:56 The Role of the Judge in DUI Cases 41:25 The Consequences of DUI and the Importance of Treatment 43:08 The Role of the Judge in Sentencing and Rehabilitation 44:31 The Impact of DUI Convictions on Individuals and Society 45:28 The Role of the Judge in Problem Solving and Changing Lives 47:46 The Importance of a Coordinated Team in Drug Court 50:09 The Success and Challenges of Drug Court 57:23 The Role of Law Enforcement in Drug Court 01:00:35 The Impact and Success of Drug Court 01:06:28 The Importance of Funding and Support for Problem Solving Courts 01:09:53 Conclusion: The Need for More Problem Solving Courts and Call to Action Illinois Association of Problem-Solving Courts: https://www.ilapsc.org/ Justice Voices website: https://justicevoices.org #problemsolvingcourts

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