Using the Law to Enhance Wellbeing: Applying Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Courtroom

Lorie L. Sicafuse and Brian H. Bornstein

in Stress, Trauma, and Wellbeing in the Legal System

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199829996
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199301492 | DOI:

Series: American Psychology-Law Society Series

Using the Law to Enhance Wellbeing: Applying Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Courtroom

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  • Criminal and Forensic Psychology


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The notion that the law should be used as a therapeutic agent has become increasing popular among social scientists and legal professionals. This chapter provides an overview of the ways in which the courts can promote individual wellbeing using therapeutic jurisprudence. Specifically, it describes how legal professionals can apply therapeutic principles to address the underlying causes of complex and controversial legal transgressions such as drug-related offenses, domestic violence, and prostitution. In doing so, they can help maximize positive physical and psychological outcomes for defendants, victims, and the community. Although applications of therapeutic jurisprudence are likely beneficial in many cases, additional research is needed to assess the long-term outcomes of this approach and to explore strategies aimed at maximizing its success.

Keywords: stress; trauma; wellbeing; courts; courtroom; legal system; therapeutic jurisprudence; innovations

Chapter.  12300 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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