Supreme Court awards over $1 million in grants to drug and sobriety courts

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Oct. 11 that it has awarded more than $11 million to 89 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 re-offend. 

“The funding from these grant programs is vital to Michigan’s drug and sobriety  courts because it enables them to continue doing what they do best: saving lives, saving money, strengthening families, and building stronger communities,” said State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr. 

Key findings in the MSC Solving Problems, Saving Lives report, which can be found at courts.mi.gov/Administration/admin/op/problem-solving-courts/Documents/PSCAnnualReport.pd2016f.pdf, include:

—Drug/sobriety court graduates were nearly two times less likely to reoffend after two years.

—Unemployment among adult drug court graduates dropped by more than half. 

—Ninety percent of juvenile drug court graduates improved their education level upon successfully  completing a program.

—Ninety-two percent of sobriety court participants who used an ignition interlock device  successfully completed a program.

—Sobriety court graduates with interlock devices were three times less likely to be convicted of  another offense after four years.

Kent County’s 61st and 62B district courts, as well as other West Michigan district and circuit courts, received the funding. The process of awarding  the grants is highly competitive and funding is limited.  As a result, not every court who applied received  a grant..    

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.  More information is available at courts.mi.gov/administration/admin/op/performance/pages/default.aspx.

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