Mental health courts: the right tool for the job

At home, I’m not known to be handy. But I know enough to not use a  hammer to fix a toilet.

When Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young makes the Court’s annual presentation to the House appropriations subcommittee on judiciary , I hope that legislators remember that idea, to spring for the right tool to get the job done. That not only gets the work done properly, but it saves money as well.

What brought this to mind is a column by Detroit Free Press columnist Jeff Gerritt, and his look at the state’s specialty courts.

Gerritt notes it costs taxpayers $35,000 per year to “warehouse” them in prisons. By contrast, community treatment costs just $10,000 per year per person.

According to Gerritt’s column, Gov. Rick Snyder is appropriating $1 million in his 2013 budget for mental health courts. But, Gerritt says, the legislature has to do even better. It’s a great read, especially if it’s getting passed around Lansing at budget time.

1 thought on “Mental health courts: the right tool for the job

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