Michigan Courts receive $4.5M grant to respond to COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 1:27 PM EDT
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Working in conjunction with the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan State Police has announced a $4.5 million Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) grant for trial courts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible courts can receive funding for personal protective equipment, screening equipment for personnel and court visitors, software and hardware to facilitate remote hearings, and tethers to support safe reduction of jail populations, among other costs.

“Judges and court staff statewide have worked tirelessly to protect public health while making our justice system even more accessible, transparent, and efficient,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “Courts have accomplished all of this while facing budget cuts in their local communities, so this grant is perfectly timed to meet a huge need. We are grateful for the state police’s partnership and appreciate their willingness to invest in keeping our courts safe.”

The $4.5 million grant was appropriated through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is currently available to all Michigan trial courts who were previously ineligible to apply for direct CESF assistance. The grant performance period spans from March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, and all work must directly relate to the prevention of, preparation for, and/or response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible grant budget categories include:

- Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning/sanitation supplies/equipment.

- Temperature scanners and other devices to screen personnel and court visitors.

- Technology software and hardware for staff to work remotely and to support remote court hearings.

- Reimbursement for additional costs of tether programs to reduce number of jail inmates.

- Pretrial and community supervision expenses, including: electronic monitoring, drug/alcohol testing, assessing pretrial risk and making recommendations, supportive services, and pretrial and probation staffing (overtime only).

- Staff overtime to cover for personnel out due to coronavirus-related illness or quarantine.

- Medical and travel costs for COVID testing/treatment for staff and/or inmates.

- Contractual personnel to assist with activities that have been delayed.

- Dissemination of COVID-19-related information to the public.

- Physical barriers and other crowd control measures to reduce the virus transmission.

- Office supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 functions (e.g., printing of public notices, employee screening questionnaires, etc.).

A list of eligible courts, allocated funding amounts, and application instructions can be found on the

. All completed applications must be received the MSP’s Grants and Community Services Division by 12:00 p.m. EST on August 14, 2020.

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