A package of bills I introduced to reduce recidivism and provide assistance to individuals as they get their lives back on track has been sent to the Governor for final approval. Senate Bills 435-438 will give those in need of help an opportunity to get their lives back.
Problem-solving, or specialty courts, are those dedicated to individual issues such as drugs, veteran treatment, mental health, and alcohol-related driving offenses. Currently, specialty courts do not require state certification to operate. However, a recent change made by the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) would require state certification beginning with Fiscal Year 2018.
This legislation is needed so that Michigan has a more consistent and effective approach for the courts and participants. SBs 435-438 will help ensure that all treatment courts are employing national best practices, for the best possible outcomes.
Without guidelines in place, specialty programs employ various tactics to achieve the end goal of their institution. Unfortunately, this system has not yielded the results we are aiming for. All problem-solving courts statewide should be adhering to the same policies and procedures — this will improve outcome consistency across different jurisdictions throughout the state.