Michigan’s problem-solving courts are a subject we’ve discussed with our readers on several occasions before. After all, they’re making a huge impact on Michigan’s justice system, and we happen to have more of them than any other state in the US (because we’re awesome!) But on that good note, we have some even better news for you – our problem-solving courts are about to undergo an upgrade, making them even more efficient than before!
Governor Snyder recently signed Senate Bills 435, 437, and 438 into law. The bills, sponsored by state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, address a few much-needed changes among Michigan’s problem-solving courts. (For those of you who aren’t sure what we mean when we say “problem solving courts, we’re referring to Michigan’s drug, sobriety, mental health, and veterans’ treatment courts.)
So what have the new laws done to help the courts better serve the people of Michigan?
Well, for starters, the bills align the many different problem-solving courts’ definition of “violent offender.” This means legal definitions are the same across all of the different courts. That’s important, because only non-violent offenders are allowed to participate in Michigan’s problem-solving court programs.
Another important issue that was addressed by the bills was the issue of jurisdictional transfer. One of the problems that can reduce the efficiency of problem solving courts is not being able to transfer defendants from one court to another, based on the services they need most. By streamlining the process, people can now be moved from one problem-solving court to another, having their needs met quickly and more efficiently.
For those of you unfamiliar with MIchigan’s problem-solving courts, here’s a quick overview: These court are different from ordinary courts, in that they aim to solve the underlying issues that led to the criminal act, not just incarcerate offenders. In other words, they’re proactive courts, not reactive courts. Their role is to help address problems, like alcoholism, mental health issues, and drug abuse, that led to arrest so as to prevent recurring offenses.
What do the problem-solving courts do in Michigan?
For example, there are Michigan’s Mental Health Courts. They focus less on determining guilt and innocence, and more on helping those caught up in the criminal justice system who’re also struggling with mental health issues. They do this by providing access to whatever is needed – counseling, group therapy, assistance finding jobs and housing, mentors, help with medications,the list is long. But the benefits are enormous!
People all over Michigan are getting their lives back on track through the problem solving courts, and with the help of highly experienced defense attorneys. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in the Great Lakes State, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866-766-5245. Our skilled defense attorneys have decades of experience building proactive defense strategies and examining every angle of a case. We are here to help you 24/7.