DEARBORN – The 19th District Court was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Supreme Court to fund the day-to-day operations of the court’s Veterans Treatment Court.
The court, is one of 24 Michigan courts awarded a grant for the state’s fiscal year that runs Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019. Grants were made available to courts that have completed a planning phase of their treatment court program.
The planning phase for the Dearborn VTC started a while back and the process to implementation was accelerated when 19th District Court Judge Gene Hunt took steps to facilitate meetings and coordinate with community partners to establish this problem solving court. This year, 19th District Court Judge Sam Salamey signed the local administrative order establishing the VTC.
According to the Supreme Court, Michigan is a national leader with the number of VTCs. Followup analysis by the Supreme Court shows that unemployment among Michigan VTC graduates was reduced by more than half in Fiscal Year 2017.
The funds will support a part-time program coordinator and will help provide services such as drug testing and transportation for program participants. The coordinator will oversee program and grant compliance, state certification and data reporting requirement, and assist in the overall growth of the court.
Problem-solving courts are non-traditional courts that focus on nonviolent offenders whose underlying medical and social problems have contributed to recurring contacts with the criminal justice system. As a problem-solving court, the VTC promotes sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response that involves collaboration with the traditional partners found in drug courts and mental health courts.
In addition, the court works with the Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteer mentors, and various organizations that support veterans and their families.
Hunt serves as the veterans’ treatment court judge. He provides leadership to the treatment court team and plays a role in guiding participants through the program.
“We are elated that the Michigan Supreme Court is committed to providing funding to help support our veterans’ treatment court here in Dearborn,” Hunt said.
“Securing this grant is one more success for the Dearborn court among the many others accomplished during recent years designed to enhance and improve the court’s operations and saving taxpayers money at the same time,” Salamey said.