Mental health courts share $4 million in grants

The Michigan Supreme Court has announced that more than $4 million is being awarded to 28 courts across the state, including Macomb County Circuit Court, to fund the operation of mental health courts. 

“Individuals with mental illness regularly come into contact with the criminal justice system, and they account for a startling number of prison inmates. But mental health courts are working to change this by offering alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders,” said Justice Joan Larsen, who is the MSC liaison to problem-solving courts.

Funding from these grant programs, she said, “is vital to Michigan’s mental health courts because it enables them to continue doing what they do best: saving lives, saving money, strengthening families, and building stronger communities.”

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

• Graduates of Michigan mental health courts are two times less likely to commit another offense after two years.
• Unemployment among mental health court graduates was cut by 61.6 percent.
• Ninety-nine percent of mental health court graduates improved their mental health; 97 percent of graduates improved their quality of life.

Four of the courts that received grants are regional courts, which means they include two or more counties — or courts — crossing jurisdictional lines to provide treatment services to offenders under strict court supervision, officials said.

Problem-solving courts closely supervise offenders who are required to enroll in treatment. Extensive follow-up analysis shows that participants in these courts are far less likely to reoffend, officials said.

The grant announcement coincides with the observance of National Recovery Month, 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. 

Besides Macomb County Circuit C ourt, other courts receiving the funds are:

3rd Circuit Court—Wayne County.
6th Circuit Court—Oakland County.
7th Circuit Court—Genesee County.
9th Circuit Court—Kalamazoo County.
14th Circuit Court—Muskegon County.
17th Circuit Court—Kent County.
30th Circuit Court—Ingham County.
36th Circuit Court—Van Buren County.
1st District Court—Monroe County.
2A District Court—Lenawee County.
8th District Court—Kalamazoo County.
10th District Court—Calhoun County.
12th District Court—Jackson County.
15th District Court—Washtenaw County.
45th District Court—Wayne County.
53rd District Court—Livingston County.
55th District Court—Ingham County.
57th District Court—Allegan County.
58th District Court—Ottawa County.
60th District Court—Muskegon County.
70th District Court—Saginaw County.
71A District Court—Lapeer County.
72nd District Court—St. Clair County.
Berrien/Cass Regional Mental Health Court.
Mid-Michigan Regional Mental Health Court.
Schoolcraft County Regional Mental Health Court.
Western Wayne County Behavioral Treatment Court.