Unlocking the Black Box of Mental Health Court Case Processing: An Event History Analysis of Extralegal Characteristics & Behavior on Case Revocation
Beach, Lindsey Renee
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Problem solving courts are a bastion of judicial innovation and pragmatic optimism, however, their structure and case processing dynamics reintroduce high-levels of discretion to the courtroom. Past research indicates that discretionary legal environments may be vulnerable to unconscious extralegal bias and disparate treatment based defendant behavior. This paper explores the role of extralegal bias and disparate treatment in a well-established MHC. A Cox-proportional hazard analysis is used to determine the effects of defendant characteristics, during-court behavior, and interactions terms on MHC case revocation. This project builds on prior research by introducing time-dependent measures of defendant behavior, which more accurately capture the complex dynamics of MHC case processing. Findings are discussed in the context with the therapeutic ideologies and broader objectives of problem solving courts.
- Sociology