Duly Noted

Michigan Supreme Court highlights success of problem-solving courts



On March 15, the Michigan Supreme Court  (MSC) released  “Michigan’s  Judiciary Success Stories: How Problem-Solving Courts are Driving Change.” The 12-page booklet highlights personal success stories from graduates and the judges who oversee problem-solving courts in Michigan.

The booklet focuses on success stories from mental health court, sobriety court, Swift & Sure Sanctions Probation Program, and veterans treatment court.

The publication was released at the 18th annual meeting of the Michigan Association of  Treatment Court Professionals, where more than 750 attendees learned about best practices from  national experts, including presenters from Michigan’s State Court Administrative Office. 

Highlights from the booklet include:

Mental Health Court Makes a Difference

– Graduate Makenzie Scimeca credits Judge Joseph Skocelas’s 57th District Court Mental Health Court in Allegan for changing her life. “The love  that Judge Skocelas showed for me had a huge impact on my life. They truly cared, and you could see it in the way they looked at you, in the way that they talked to you, and in the resources  they informed you about.  They really wanted people to succeed,” Scimeca said.
Graduate Says Judge Salomone is “Miracle Worker”

–Since 23rd District Court Judge Geno  Salomone started a regional sobriety court in Taylor in 2002, over 150 graduates have  returned to the  community to support their families. Tanya Swain not only successfully complete the program in 2015, but started an alumni association for past graduates.

Structure of Swift & Sure Sanctions Probation Program Drives Success

 – When Judge  Michelle Rick of 29th Circuit Court in Clinton/
Gratiot Counties realized the status quo was not working, she decided to implement Swift & Sure. Through a collaborative effort, participant Debbie Reynolds was able to get drug-free, find a job, and begin rebuilding relationships.

Second Veterans Treatment Court in State Helps Vet “Become the Person I Should Have  Been”

 – Judge Richard Ball of 54- B District Court, East Lansing, has led the veterans treatment court since 2014. Graduate Kevin Hier hopes to become a mentor for other veterans in  similar situations. “Each month, I’d leave the program and I felt like my spirits were soaring. I feel like I finally became the person I should have been,” said Hier.

Watch his video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tn6GlM9KwvU&feature=youtu.be. Find these profiles, videos and more at www.courts.mi.gov/successstories. Read more about MSC Top 10 Accomplishments and Driving Change initiative at http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Pages/driving-change.aspx

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