Problem-Solving Courts: Juvenile Respondents Deserve Our Help, Our Commitment, and Our Hope

By Alyssa Smith, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 Problem-solving courts are specialized dockets, usually within the criminal justice system, that seek to address the underlying problem(s) contributing to certain criminal offenses.[1] Generally, a problem-solving court involves a close collaboration among a judge(s), attorney(s), advocates, and a community service team to develop a case plan and…

Through the Lens of Therapeutic Jurisprudence

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.…

Covid-19 Presents Renewed Demand for Family Policy Reform

By Caitlin Phillips, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 This semester I have had the opportunity to participate as a law clerk for the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) Truancy Court Program. Over the past few weeks working with Baltimore City schools, I have heard parents voice concerns that…

Family Drug Treatment Courts and the Children of the Future

  By Jasmine Martinez, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 Maryland is one of several states that utilize drug treatment courts to assist those who are recovering from addiction. Drug treatment courts in the criminal context allow defendants to have a voice in their recovery plan and the power to control their lives. Rather than sentence…

Effects of Virtual Learning Policies on Educational Equity

By Neha Khan, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 The last week of September was the orientation for the majority of the Baltimore City schools participating in the Truancy Court Program (TCP) operated by the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) at the University of Baltimore School of Law. As…

The Practice of Empathy

By Zoe James-Collins, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 The ability to feel the emotional weight of another person is a powerful—and often overwhelming—sensation. Learning how to transcend empathy from sensation alone into a useful social tool is imperative to optimizing relationships both within and without the legal profession. While many lawyers harbor a natural gift…

Immigrant Children and Restorative Practices

By David Ascencio Arevalo, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. For many people, the American dream is to come to this country to work and have a better life for themselves and their children. When immigrants decide to come to the United States, either with documentation…

Therapeutic Jurisprudence Starts with “Why” and Ends with “How”

By Jillianne Trotter Crescenzi, CFCC Student Fellow, Fall 2020 When people think about lawyers and the criminal justice system, they often think about catch phrases like “Law and Order” and “You must be good at arguing.” Our paternalistic society has been groomed to interpret law through a “right” and “wrong” lens, with nothing in between,…

The Creative Disruption of the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Courts

By Guest Author Matthew J. Sullivan Unified Family Courts Connection | Fall 2020 The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic—which engulfed the entire world like a brushfire out of control—has changed the practices of fam- ily courts and all the judges, attorneys and practitioners who help families traverse the court system. I work with parents in high-conflict, shared-parenting…