An annual report from the state Supreme Court says specialty courts that focus on veterans, people with mental illnesses, and those with substance abuse problems are reducing re-offense rates, and saving taxpayers money.
Republican state Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen says the newest numbers are particularly encouraging when it comes to employment rates. Larsen says turning offenders into taxpaying citizens is a bargain over sending offenders to jail or prison. But she also says the state’s 179 specialty courts still need more resources, and there’s a small fraction of offenders who don’t have access to those services.
“I think just improving access to the program is really what we should be focusing on.”
Specialty courts currently cover 97% of Michigan residents.