Michigan problem-solving courts granted nearly $17M

The Michigan Supreme Court announced last Friday that the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) has awarded more than $16.7 million in grants for Fiscal Year 2022 to problem-solving court (PSC) programs statewide, including drug and sobriety, mental health, and veterans treatment courts. Data have consistently shown that these specialized programs contribute to less repeat crime, lower unemployment rates, and improved quality of life of graduates.

“Year after year, Michigan problem-solving courts do more than solve problem—they save lives, and that important work didn’t stop during the pandemic. Statewide, judges, court teams, and engaged communities stepped up to support and guide participants on a path to recovery,” said Justice Elizabeth T. Clement, who serves as the MSC liaison to problem-solving courts. “We are so grateful to the legislature and governor for investing in these courts and the professionals who help them be so successful at reducing recidivism and making neighborhoods safer.”

PSC grant totals and recipients by court type:

• Drug/Sobriety Courts $10,504,169  (list of recipients)

• Mental Health Courts $5,230,330  (list of recipients)

• Veterans Treatment Courts $1,034,399 (list of recipients)

Key findings in the FY 2020 PSC Annual Report:

• Graduates of adult drug court programs were nearly 2 times less likely to be convicted of a new offense within three years of admission to a program.

• Sobriety court graduates were more than 3 times less likely to be convicted of a new offense within three years of admission.

• Drop in unemployment of 96 percent for adult drug court graduates.

• Mental health court (MHC) graduates on average—among adult circuit, adult district, juvenile—were 2-3 times less likely to commit another crime within three years of admission to a program.

• Average of 97 percent improvement in mental health status among adult circuit, adult district, juvenile MHC graduates.

• Michigan remains a national leader with 27 veterans treatment courts.

Problem-solving courts are nontraditional programs that focus on nonviolent offenders whose underlying issues, such as a substance use disorder or mental health diagnosis, have contributed to recurring involvement with the criminal justice system. In addition to funding, SCAO also provides these courts with operational support and resources, guidance on state certification, and training.


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