Gov. Rick Snyder has signed bills to require that special problem-solving courts receive state certification to operate.
The courts are designed to address criminals' underlying substance abuse or mental health issues so they do not re-offend.
Supporters say the legislation is needed so Michigan has a more consistent and effective approach for the courts and defendants. Under legislation signed Monday, specialty courts — including drug, sobriety, mental health and veteran's treatment courts — will have to be certified by the State Court Administrative Office starting in January.
The office currently offers recommendations, but the courts are under no mandate to adopt them.