Report shows drug & sobriety courts reduce crime rates

Kicking off National Drug Court Month, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth T. Clement recently highlighted the effectiveness of Michigan drug and sobriety courts, citing a new report released by the State Court Administrative Office. In particular, the report found that graduates of these problem-solving courts are far less likely to commit another crime two years after graduating a program.

“Data confirm that Michigan drug and sobriety courts are truly solving problems and saving lives,” said Clement during a graduation ceremony at the 55th District Court Sobriety Court in Mason. “Through the support of programs like this one and the Supreme Court, individuals who have struggled with addiction can get the help they need and leave with a solid foundation on which to build their new lives.”

Based on a wide range of data collected during Fiscal Year 2017, the Problem-Solving Court Annual Report, “Solving Problems, Saving Lives,” also found that upon completing a program:

• Adult drug court grads were more than 3 times less likely to commit another crime after two years.

• Hybrid (drug/sobriety) court grads were more than 2 times less likely to commit another crime after two years.

• Sobriety court grads were more than 5 times less likely to commit another crime after two years.

• Family dependency court grads were more than 2 times less likely to commit another crime after two years.

• Ninety-one percent of sobriety court graduates who used ignition interlock devices successfully completed a program.

• Sobriety court graduates who used an ignition interlock device were 7 times less likely to commit another crime after two years.

• Unemployment among drug court graduates was drastically reduced:
  — By 100 percent among adult drug court graduates.
  — By more than 75 percent among sobriety court graduates.
  — By more than 60 percent among hybrid (drug/sobriety) court graduates.

The report also found that:

• Unemployment among veterans treatment court graduates was cut by more than half; and

• Nearly 100 percent of mental health court graduates improved their mental health.

Problem-solving courts are non-traditional courts that focus on nonviolent offenders whose underlying medical and social problems have contributed to recurring contacts with the criminal justice system. For additional information, visit http://courts.mi.gov/administration/admin/op/problem-solving-courts/pages/default.aspx.

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