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News & Events

Specialty courts cut costs, improve lives

Topic: News

Regionalism in government is a wonderful concept that is sometimes difficult to implement. Wayne County alone has 20 separate district courts and four municipal courts, each with its own judge or judges, funding source, court administrator and probation department. Many of these courts were created in times when government in general was expanding, not shrinking as it is now.

While these courts have borders, the reality is that the serious issues they confront, such as substance abuse and lack of treatment for mental illnesses, have no geographic borders. Defendants suffering with these problems make up most of criminal courts’ dockets and often commit multiple crimes in multiple jurisdictions. When each court separately attempts to punish or rehabilitate the same defendant, the results are expensive, time consuming and, ultimately, unsuccessful. In fact, the criminal justice system is often seen as a “revolving door” where the same defendants are seen over and again.

Read the full article at The Detroit Free Press