More than $11M awarded to successful drug/sobriety courts

The Michigan Supreme Court announced Monday that it has awarded more than $11.2 million in grants to 99 courts statewide to fund the operation of drug and sobriety court programs during Fiscal Year 2020.

Extensive follow-up analysis shows that graduates of adult drug court programs are two times less likely to be convicted of a new offense within three years.

“Michigan’s drug and sobriety courts have a proven track record of holding participants accountable, while also extending a helping hand,” said Justice Elizabeth T. Clement, who serves as the MSC liaison to problem-solving courts. “Funding these life-changing programs is a huge win for the entire state because they are effective in dramatically reducing recidivism and unemployment rates, which helps improve the quality of life for graduates and strengthen our communities.”

Key findings regarding drug and sobriety courts in the most recent “Solving Problems, Saving Lives” report include:

• Unemployment dropped dramatically among all graduates, including a more than 75 percent reduction for sobriety and hybrid (drug/sobriety) court graduates.
• 100 percent of adult drug court graduates were employed.
• Nearly 100 percent of family dependency court graduates were employed.
• Treatment court graduates who used ignition interlock devices on their vehicles were four times less likely to be convicted of a new offense within three years of admission.

In addition to funding, the Supreme Court provides these courts with operational support and resources, including a manual on state certification requirements, and educational programming.

Problem-solving courts are nontraditional programs 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.

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