Mich. says mental health courts making difference

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The agency that oversees Michigan’s court system is praising the performance of special courts that serve people with mental illness.

A study of 10 mental health courts around the state finds a lower level of repeat offenders compared to other courts. Participants also had better opportunities for work, education and treatment.

State court administrator Chad Schmucker says the survey checked up on 331 graduates of mental health courts. The goal is to get help for people instead of sending them to jail or prison for long periods for certain crimes. They may have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.

Mental health courts have been around since 2009. More than a dozen counties are participating.

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