Office of Problem-Solving Courts
The Office of Problem-Solving Courts (OPSC) provides support to problem-solving courts through technical assistance, training, data collection and analysis, research, policy development, legislative analysis, and technology to support case management.
In 1989, Florida started the national problem-solving court movement by creating the first drug court in the United States in Miami-Dade County. Other types of problem-solving court dockets subsequently followed, using the drug court model, and were implemented to assist individuals with a range of problems such as drug addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, and homelessness.
Problem-solving courts offer a specialized court docket and include, but are not limited to, the following elements:
- Problem-solving team. A broad-based team of justice system stakeholders including judges, case managers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment professionals, law enforcement officers, corrections personnel, and guardians ad litem.
- Non-adversarial approach. A commitment to offering alternatives to the traditional adversarial litigation process.
- Continuum of individualized treatment services. An array of evidence-based services designed to identify and meet the unique needs of each participant.
- Judicial leadership and interaction. A judge who leads the problem-solving team and monitors the court case using an increased number of hearings for monitoring compliance and progress.
- Responses to participant compliance. The use of graduated, individualized, and coordinated responses, both for incentives and sanctions, to promote both public safety and the participants’ success.
Each problem-solving court type is unique. A side-by-side glance of the core components of the six most prevalent types of problem-solving courts in Florida can be found here: Problem-Solving Courts Core Components
Problem-Solving Court Month
The positive impact of problem-solving courts, often referred to nationally as treatment courts, is highlighted during National Treatment Court Month in May. The month's activities bring attention to countless lives saved, families reunited, and communities made safer as a result of participation in problem-solving courts across the country.
You may view the Supreme Court of Florida Proclamation that is signed by Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz and the State of Florida Resolution that is signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet, recognizing May 2023 as National Treatment Court Month.