Michigan leads the nation in serving military veterans

May is Military Appreciation Month and state court officials note that Michigan leads the nation with 23 veterans treatment courts to support veterans who have struggled with the transition back into civilian life.

Graduates have also experienced improved job prospects after completing the program. According to a forthcoming report from the Supreme Court, the unemployment rate among graduates of veterans treatment courts in 2015 was reduced by more than half.

The State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) supports these courts statewide with funding, most recently granting $500,000 to veterans treatment courts across Michigan in 2016.

In addition, SCAO monitors performance of these courts and provides management assistance.

SCAO has also partnered with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School to produce a manual for Michigan judges who are interested in starting a veterans treatment court program.

SCAO is currently working with several courts that are pursuing such programs, as the need continues to grow in Michigan.

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, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, and organizations that support veterans and veterans' families.

These courts also link participants to educational resources, job training, housing, and other com­munity services.

Published: Mon, May 16, 2016