More than $10M in grants awarded Michigan Drug and Sobriety Courts

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Wednesday that more than $10 million has been awarded to 81 courts statewide to fund the operation of drug and DWI/sobriety programs. Instead of costly incarceration, these problem-solving courts closely supervise offenders who are required to enroll in treatment programs and be drug tested regularly. Extensive follow-up analysis shows that participants in these courts are far less likely to reoffend.

"The funding from these grant programs is vital to Michigan's problem-solving courts because it enables them to continue doing what they do best: saving lives, saving money, strengthening families, and building stronger communities," said Justice Joan Larsen, who is the MSC liaison to problem-solving courts. "The judges who oversee these courts-as well as their teams-are to be commended for their steadfast leadership and dedication to making these courts successful in turning lives around."

The most recent MSC Problem-Solving Court Report, "Solving Problems, Saving Lives," shows that:

- Graduates of Michigan drug courts are two times less likely to commit another offense after two years.

- Graduates of Michigan sobriety courts are more than three times less likely to commit another offense after two years.

- Unemployment among adult circuit drug court graduates was slashed by 85 percent and dropped by 75 percent among sobriety court graduates.

- Ninety-three percent of juvenile drug court graduates improved their education level.

The process of awarding the grants is highly competitive and funding is limited. As a result, not every court who applied received a grant.

The grant announcement coincides with the observance of National Recovery Month, which is held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Performance of problem-solving courts is tracked as part of a broader performance measures initiative to monitor court performance statewide. Data collected is used to identify and share best practices and to target areas that need improvement.

Published: Thu, Sep 22, 2016