The families of victims of crimes suffer long after a crime has been committed against their loved one. Victims and their families are essential to the justice process of the accused. Here, a teen brought his father's gun on the school bus and accidentally shot and killed another teen. The teen's mother participated alongside the State's Attorneys to negotiate an appropriate sentence for the teen that shot her daughter. Originally, the mother wanted more prison time, and the State's Attorney took that into account when making offers to the defendant. But later, miraculously, she forgave him for his mistake, and an agreement was reached where he would do minimal prison time in a juvenile facility and would then tour Florida speaking to young people about gun safety.
Creative and outside the box sentences can increase justice when important factors of the defendant are taken into account: mental health issues, addictions, age, previous history, home life, and any other specific facts. In Illinois, there are specific courts to address both mental health (Mental Health Court) and addiction (Drug Court). A person charged with a crime can be diverted either of these two specialty courts, if he or she meets the criteria. In this way, defendant's are made to be more productive citizens by helping them address the real problem, instead of just throwing them in prison and burdening the taxpayers with their expensive care. Both Mental Health Court and Drug Court have been proven in multiple jurisdictions to have a lower recidivism rate, cost immensely less than prison, and actually help and rehabilitate defendants, their families, and even victims, in appropriate situations.
Additionally, there is another speciality court for Veterans, who face specific issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other issues. More information on this topic can be found in the following article.
Myers, Clarissa and Sean McCumber. "MICAP/Drug Court Veteran's Track". The DuPage County Bar Association Brief Vol. 24. May 2012: 14-17.