Nonjudicial officers (NJOs) permeate the criminal justice and the forensic mental health systems in hidden ways. But what are the impact and consequences of non-lawyers and non- “real judges” hearing cases? Across the nation, numerous cases are outsourced to administrative and other NJOs to decide issues ranging from family court cases involving custody disputes and foster care, to alcohol, substance abuse, as well as mental health and institutionalization issues. Moreover, NJOs may also deal with probation sentencing, conditions of confinement, release restrictions, and even capital punishment.
The editors and contributors to the indispensable Justice Outsourced examine the hidden role of these non-judicial officers in the courtroom and administrative settings, as well as the ethical and practical considerations of using NJOs. Written from the perspective of therapeutic jurisprudence by judges, criminologists, lawyers, law professors, psychologists, and sociologists, this volume provides a much-needed wake-up call that emphasizes why the removal of a judge weakens a defendant’s rights and dignity and corrupts the administration of justice. However, Justice Outsourced also suggests effective employments of NJOs, revealing the potential of therapeutic principles and procedures to enhance the practical knowledge supplied by nonjudicial decision-makers.
Michael L. Perlin is Professor Emeritus of Law at New York Law School, where he was Founding Director of the International Mental Disability Law Reform Project, and is Co-founder of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates. Heather Ellis Cucolo is an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School and Co-founder of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates.
“The issues of nonjudges making judicial decisions are, as the lead chapter of this indispensable collection tells us, hiding in plain view. These masterful essays place a therapeutic jurisprudence lens on issues that permeate the criminal justice, mental disability law, and family law systems, and demonstrate clearly how we fail when we outsource so many of the issues that are covered here. Justice Outsourced is a comprehensive and welcome—and necessary—addition to the transitional justice literature.”—David B. Wexler, Professor of Law at the University of Puerto Rico and Distinguished Research Professor of Law at the University of Arizona
“Justice Outsourced provides a powerful critique of the forensic mental health system from the theoretical perspective of therapeutic jurisprudence. Central to this critique is the likely unknown fact that far too many legal decisions affecting this population are made by nonlegal authorities, whose decisions at times are at odds with the sentencing judge adjudicating these cases. Justice Outsourced is the first text of its kind to explore the implications of these questionable administrative practices. It is a must-read.”—David Polizzi, Professor at Indiana State University