Gov. Rick Snyder has signed bills to require that special problem-solving courts receive state certification to operate. The courts are designed to address criminals' underlying substance abuse or mental health issues so they do not reoffend.
Supporters say the legislation is needed so Michigan has a more consistent and effective approach for the courts and defendants. Under legislation signed Monday, specialty courts - including drug, sobriety, mental health and veteran's treatment courts - will have to be certified by the State Court Administrative Office starting in January.
The office currently offers recommendations, but the courts are under no mandate to adopt them.