Daily Briefs . . .

Nearly $14 million in grants awarded to problem-solving courts

The State Court Administrative Office announced today that nearly $14 million has been awarded to 122 courts statewide to fund the operation of drug, DWI, mental health, and veterans treatment court programs.  Instead of costly incarceration, these problem-solving courts closely supervise offenders who are required to enroll in treatment programs and be drug tested regularly.  Extensive follow-up analysis shows that participants in these courts are far less likely to reoffend.

“These grant programs help problem-solving courts continue to do what they do best: save lives, save money, strengthen families, and build stronger communities,” said Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. “But what is even more important is the leadership provided by judges who are passionate about making a difference and committed to investing the time and effort needed to turn lives around.”

Michigan was the first state court system to establish regionalized DWI courts and the second to establish regionalized mental health courts. Regionalized courts include two or more counties—or courts—crossing jurisdictional lines to provide treatment services to offenders under strict court supervision.  “By regionalizing these courts, we increase access and improve efficiency,” said Chief Justice Young.

The MSC Problem-Solving Court report, Solving Problems, Saving Lives, shows that in 2014:

• Two years after admission to any type of drug court, graduates were 56 percent less likely to be convicted of any new offense.

• Participants in sobriety courts and adult district drug courts were 75 percent less likely to be convicted of any new offense after two years.

• 98 percent of mental health court graduates improved their mental health.

The process of awarding the grants is highly competitive and funding is limited.  As a result, not every court who applied received a grant.

Chief Justice Young made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.



Magna Carta and Bill of Rights to be topic at Constitution Day event

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, but how does the English document compare to the Bill of Rights and how was the Bill of Rights read differently during the Civil Rights era? University of Mississippi School of Law Professor Ronald J. Rychlak will discuss these topics during WMU-Cooley Law School’s annual Constitutional Day event Sept. 17.

Rychlak has been a faculty member at the University of Mississippi School of Law since 1987 and is an advisor to the Holy See’s delegation at the United Nations. He is also author and co-author of numerous articles and nine books, including Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, which he wrote with Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer to defect to the West.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held from 12-1 p.m. Sept. 17 at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School,  Auburn Hills campus, 2630 Featherstone, Auburn Hills.