Study: Michigan’s Mental Health Courts Reduce Recidivism, Improve Quality Of Life

Aug 22, 2013

Offenders in Michigan’s new mental health courts are far less likely to re-offend compared to those in the traditional criminal justice system.

That’s according to a three-year study released Thursday by the State Court Administrative Office.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

The courts accept certain types of offenders with serious mental health issues. Those could include schizophrenia, severe depression, or psychosis. A judge supervises them as they get treatment and therapy. At the same time, they can get help finding jobs, education opportunities, and housing.

Harry Wilson is with the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

   “When you take them into the community, get them closer to their home, treat people with the support of their family, it’s far better than locking them away in prisons,” he says.

There’s legislation in Lansing to expand mental health courts in Michigan. House Judiciary Chair Kevin Cotter hopes his committee will vote on the bills in the coming weeks.