By Marie Jensine Marcelino, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020
Therapeutic Jurisprudence (“TJ”) is a legal framework or lens designed to consider and promote individuals’ psychological well-being.
Healing, not punishment, is essential to Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
Evaluating and understanding that every legal decision creates consequences for the individuals involved in a legal proceeding is critical to TJ.
Recognizing that the legal decision implemented may not always promote the clients’ psychological well-being is a critical consideration in the judicial process.
Applying a sincere ethic of care when addressing the needs of each client, and
Promoting true listening and diligent attempts to understand each client help clients feel at ease.
Encouraging all legal professionals to provide a quality ethic of care makes the justice system more therapeutic.
Unknowingly, unfairness can be created by failing to truly understand clients, which then fosters a negative impression of the legal system.
Trying to learn about the ecology of human development and how trauma manifests, while
Identifying what the legal system does not provide to people, and how lawyers can assist them despite this, means more people can receive quality legal representation.
Compassion and TJ can provide a holistic approach when addressing legal issues.
Justice cannot be truly served if it merely acts as a band aid.
Understanding that everyone has a story and the right to tell it helps ensure that people are heard.
Restorative practices provide a space for people to find their voices to tell their stories.
Individualized treatment plans, such as those in drug treatment courts, address the cause of many complex problems affecting those involved with the justice system.
Sympathy is truly not the same as empathy.
Preventing a person’s further involvement with the court is a goal of problem-solving courts.
Relationship building is vital to the success of the individual both in the court and beyond.
Under the TJ framework, people have the possibility to experience effective healing.
Different families have different needs.
Emotions are hard to manage without practice and proper tools.
Never underestimate the power of TJ.
Courts can be a community source for more than just judgements.
Every family deserves a chance to heal.