Legislation establishes juvenile mental health courts
State Rep. Ben Frederick today voted to support an innovative plan to create specialized juvenile mental health courts in Michigan.
Frederick, of Owosso, said mental health courts successfully help struggling adults address their problems through court-based treatment programs, reducing recidivism in Michigan. A mental health court for adults is expected to begin in Shiawassee County next year, while a drug treatment court was launched in 2016.
“The results are clear – treatment courts are helping people,” Frederick said. “It’s time to expand these opportunities and help troubled young people turn their lives around.”
Frederick said Michigan’s current procedures for mental health courts were established with the adult court system in mind. The juvenile system uses different terms and expects different results than the adult system.
The plan laid out in House Bills 5806-08 uses the well-established adult mental health court system as a framework, with modifications to address the needs of juveniles in Michigan.
“The earlier we can help troubled kids and their families get to the root cause of their problems, the more likely kids are to grow up to lead healthy, successful lives,” Frederick said.
The plan now moves to the Senate for consideration.