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The criminal justice system and mass incarceration are hot topics on the reform agenda. Alternative courts or diversion courts are being touted as a solution to many of the problems faced by our criminal justice system. This can be true. However, it is important to put diversion courts into context, and to understand what they may and may not contribute to lessening the burden of the criminal justice system on our most challenged communities.
Gary M. McClelland, PhD. has been on faculty at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, for twenty-five years. He has published in the areas of criminal justice, juvenile justice, substance use and abuse and the criminal victimization of the mentally ill. His recent work focusses on child trauma, child welfare and adolescent risk behaviors. He is currently evaluating an alternative court project for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.