LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Supreme Court announced Monday that $1.17 million in grants has been awarded to 24 courts statewide to fund the operation of veterans treatment court (VTC) programs during the next fiscal year. Extensive follow-up analysis shows that unemployment among Michigan veterans treatment court graduates was reduced by more than half in Fiscal Year 2017.
“Many of our service men and women continue to fight difficult battles long after they leave the military. By funding these programs, we are able to connect military veterans with the help they need—and deserve,” said Justice Elizabeth T. Clement, MSC liaison to problem-solving courts, at a VTC graduation at the 54B District Court in East Lansing. “I am incredibly proud that these courts are able to serve those who have so bravely served our country, and as a result, they are saving lives, strengthening families, saving money, and building stronger communities.”
Click here for a list of veterans treatment courts that received grants and click here for more information about the grant programs. In addition to funding, the Supreme Court provides VTCs with operational support and resources, including a newly-updated manual on state certification requirements, educational programming, and a manual for judges interested in starting a program. Michigan is a national leader with 25 VTCs.
Problem-solving courts are non-traditional courts that focus on nonviolent offenders whose underlying medical and social problems have contributed to recurring contacts 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.
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, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteer veteran mentors, and organizations that support veterans and veterans’ families.