More than $900,000 awarded to veterans treatment courts

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Monday that more than $900,000 has been awarded to 25 courts statewide to fund the operation of veterans treatment court (VTC) programs during Fiscal Year 2020. Follow-up analysis of data from Fiscal Year 2018 shows that unemployment among Michigan veterans treatment court graduates was reduced by more than three-quarters.

"Many service men and women are forced to fight personal battles long after they leave active duty. I am so proud of Michigan's vet courts because they help those veterans get the support they need to win those battles," said Justice Elizabeth T. Clement, who serves as the MSC liaison to problem-solving courts. "Vet courts are saving lives and strengthening families, while also saving money and building stronger communities."

In addition to funding, the Supreme Court provides VTCs with operational support and resources, including a manual on state certification requirements, educational programming, a manual for judges interested in starting a program, and a manual to train volunteer veteran mentors. Michigan is a national leader with 27 VTCs.

Problem-solving courts are non-traditional courts that focus on nonviolent offenders whose underlying social and medical problems have contributed to recurring involvement with the criminal justice system. 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. Read individual "success stories" from Michigan problem-solving courts.

Veterans treatment courts promote sobriety, recovery, and stability through a coordinated response that involves collaboration with a variety of traditional partners found in drug courts and mental health courts, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, and organizations that support veterans and veterans' families.

Published: Wed, Oct 23, 2019