Mental health courts suffer budget cuts

Lansing, MI – LANSING, Mi (MPRN) - Law enforcement officials and judges are pushing Governor Granholm to continue funding mental health courts. The Governor has proposed cutting the funding from Michigan's 2010 budget.

The coalition says the court pilot programs offer irreplaceable treatment for mentally ill, nonviolent offenders, at a bargain to taxpayers who would otherwise pay for their incarceration.

Sheriff Dwain Dennis of Ionia County says he's seen jails and prisons only exacerbate mental conditions.

The Governor's office says budget cuts to the pilot programs were painful to make, but believe the courts would most likely be eligible for stimulus package funding.