The 2012 Census of Problem-Solving Courts (CPSC) involved the collection of data from all active problem-solving courts. In order to be considered a problem-solving court, it must have (1) operated within the judiciary, (2) operated under the direction of a judicial officer, (3) been active in the reference year, and (4) used therapeutic services to reduce recidivism. A variety of data elements were collected in this census, including type of court, number of participants, services provided, benefits of completing the court, and the exits from the court. CPSC includes drug, mental health, family, youth specialty, hybrid driving while intoxicated (DWI)/drug, DWI, domestic violence, veterans, tribal wellness, and other specialty courts.
The 2012 Census of Problem-Solving Courts (CPSC) is the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) first information collection from all problem-solving courts in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) fielded the survey on behalf of BJS. The survey defined problem-solving courts as those that (1) used therapeutic justice to reduce recidivism, (2) operated within the judiciary, (3) had a judicial officer in charge, (4) had an exclusive docket, and (5) either admitted participants, had active participants, or exited participants in 2012.
NCSC developed the list of problem-solving courts by identifying problem-solving courts coordinators in each state. NCSC asked the state problem-solving court coordinators to provide a list of all problem-solving courts and coordinators in their state. The problem-solving court coordinators were directed to complete one survey per problem-solving court. Thus, if one problem-solving court operated in multiple counties, it is counted as one court. If one location operated multiple problem-solving courts, each court is counted. CPSC collected information about the type of court, problems addressed, court capacity, when cases are accepted to court, sources of funding, services provided, number of admissions, active participants and exits, stakeholder involvement in court planning, presence of a court case management system, and demographic data on exiting court participants.