Therapeutic Jurisprudence is so much more than just Drug Court!
I remember the day I discovered the Law Review article by Stolle and Wexler.I had just become a Family Court Judge. I had as my vision that I could be the handmaiden of greater healing as a judge rather than as a lawyer.
The latter years of my divorce practice were esconced in high asset cases, surrounded by the wealthy who hungered for simple advice on values and spirit,wanting to be authentic in the face of the storm of dissent that only divorce can so beautifully unleash.
Try as I might, my clients would not turn to their churches, therapists,or other advisors but to me: for life instructions both for their divorce issues and for their futures.I had only success.My bills were paid,I received lavish gifts of jewelry and most importantly I received their love back.
Judging put a big space into my healing ideas, like that old well in the Courtroom between the bench and counsel table, symbolic of the distaste with which most approach a Court experience. I started to look for tools and came across the groundbreaking article on Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
I took all of Judge Peggy Hora's classes for Judges. I inserted her Drug Court model into my Family Law calendar,talked healing, forgiveness, taking responsibility,and adding consequences for misbehavior.I had litigants coming back regularly to check in and report on their progress. Most wanted to change. They just needed a forum and inspiration to grow towards the light.Heady stuff for crowded Divorce Court but I again received the love back, only this time from many whose names and faces I could hardly remember from the crush of cases.
The flow of all of our efforts to accept and use the law for healing is growing.It will be invaluable to every type of legal case as we meet the future of limited government resources delivered to an audience that will demand resolution rather than a continuance.Resolve to serve to heal we must!