Funding provided for Cass County problem-solving courts
Published 9:40 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The following grant awards have been made by the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) for the grant period of Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016:
• $247,760 for the Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program (SSSPP grant) operated by Cass County Circuit Court
• $70,000 for the Adult Treatment Court (Byrne JAG grant) operated by Cass County District Court
• $70,000 for the Family Treatment Court (Michigan Drug Court Grant Program grant) operated by Cass County Probate/Family Court
• $42,000 for the Adult Treatment Court (Michigan Drug Court Grant Program grant) operated by Cass County District Court
• $309,000 for the Berrien/Cass Regional Mental Health Court (MMHCGP- Regional) operated by Berrien County’s Unified Trial Courts and Cass County’s District and Circuit Courts
These grant awards make up a portion of the nearly $14 million dollars in grant awards awarded to 122 courts across the state of Michigan to fund the operation of drug, DWI, mental health, and veterans treatment court programs.
“Continued funding for problem-solving courts is evidence of a changing perspective embracing treatment for, instead of simply punishing, those struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction who are involved in the court system,” said Chief Judge Susan Dobrich, who created and oversees Cass County’s Family Treatment Court.
The local Family Treatment Court in Cass County serves parents struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction who have had children removed from their care as a result of abuse and/or neglect.
• Since implementation, Family Treatment Court has had an overall success rate of 62 percent
• Over the past two years, the rate of successful completion has been 64 percent with reunification and closure of the abuse and neglect case in 95 percent of the successful cases
• The rate of re-removal of children after successful completion of Family Treatment Court is 6 percent
• The rate of reunification for cases that withdrew/did not complete Family Treatment court is 13 percent
The reunification rate for participants who successfully complete Family Treatment Court is significantly higher than the state and national average of approximately 52 percent for reunification in abuse and neglect cases.
Since implementation of the local criminal problem-solving courts in Cass County:
• Adult Treatment Court has had an 80 percent graduation rate and of those, 85 percent have not re-offended, a 15 percent recidivism rate;
• Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program has had a 75 percent graduation rate and of those, 76 percent have not re-offended, a 24 percent recidivism rate;
• Sobriety Court has had a 70 percent graduation rate and of those, 80 percent have not re- offended, a 20 percent recidivism rate.
These local recidivism rates are substantially less than the 31.5 percent recidivism rate for the State of Michigan’s Department of Corrections.
“These grant programs help problem-solving courts continue to do what they do best: save lives, save money, strengthen families, and build stronger communities,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr.
“We are fortunate in Cass County to have a full continuum of treatment options available to persons struggling with addiction and substance abuse issues by way of our Problem-Solving/Treatment Courts: Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program (SSSPP), Adult Drug Court (ATC), Sobriety Court, Family Treatment Court (FTC) and the Berrien/Cass Regional Mental Health Court (RMHC),” Dobrich said.