Changes at Hall of Justice focus on speeding up reform

The Michigan Supreme Court recently announced 55th District Court Judge Thomas P. Boyd will become State Court Administrator and will focus on a wide array of reforms, ranging from criminal justice reform to improving the way courts are funded.

When Judge Boyd takes office on March 23, current State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr. will step into the role of State Court Administrator Emeritus and focus on mental health reform.

“I am so proud that our team is in the forefront of pioneering improvements and reforms that are making Michigan a national leader in building a justice system that is independent, accessible, and efficient while treating everyone with dignity and respect,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “Bringing Judge Boyd on board will keep our foot on the gas and speed the implementation of recommendations produced by the Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration and the Trial Court Funding Commission, along with other plans for improving our service to the public.”

A graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School, Judge Boyd has served on the bench since 2005 where he also presides over a mental health court and a domestic violence court. Boyd has played a leadership role on the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission, and the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.

“I know that taking reform proposals from a task force report and making them a reality is difficult work,” said Judge Boyd. “By bringing people together to implement common sense reforms driven by data, scientific research, and public input, I have no doubt that Michigan’s justice system will become a model for other states.”

Former chief judge of Wayne Probate Court, Milt Mack has long been an advocate for early intervention and treatment instead of incarceration for people suffering from mental illness, and his groundbreaking paper on the topic is driving the national conversation. He already co-chairs a national initiative to improve the justice system response to mental illness, was recently made chair of the Governor’s Mental Health Diversion Council, and in his new role will be able to focus 100 percent of his efforts to help people get the services they need before there is a crisis.

 “We know how to solve the problem – treatment not jail. My challenge now is coordinating all levels of government to implement the solution,” said Mack. “Creating a more sensible path to mental health treatment will improve quality of life for people with mental illness, reduce homelessness, and save lives.”

“Milt’s dedication to helping people with mental illness has already made a difference for so many. This change will allow him to focus on achieving mental health reform faster here in Michigan and nationwide so that more people can get treatment and get back to their families,” said McCormack.
 

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