American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 57


Used by permission.


There is growing scholarship and justice system attention regarding the quality and effect of court interactions on citizens who come before the bar, as well as court system employees. From this research and the impact of therapeutic court experience, the Compassionate Court is born. The Compassionate Court considers court matters from a wider perspective that factors human behavior and disabilities, as well as community and societal influences that caused conflicts, and encourages courts to formulate alternative therapeutic solutions. The Compassionate Court reflects a coherent, navigable, and humanistic judicial process no matter the severity of the matter or difficulty of the personalities involved. It embodies compassion as part of a cohesive, integrated structure at each door, floor, person, and component in the court. The result is a court system whose focus is on the well-being of its users, not just resolving the narrow issue at bar.