MENTAL HEALTH COURT
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Sadly, some criminal defendants in my court not only suffer from substance abuse problems but mental health issues as well. Under my leadership, the 32A District Court formed a Community Treatment Court (CTC), also known as mental health court, which provides enhanced and focused treatment alternatives for defendants who need psychiatric treatment to help them avoid criminal activity. After undergoing a month-long training process, my court accepted participants into our CTC starting in May 2019. We meet biweekly with our mental health court staff, which includes the Harper Woods city attorney, a defense attorney, therapists, a peer recovery coach, the judge, a probation officer, and a court officer to review and monitor each participant’s progress. We also utilize drug and alcohol testing to make sure that any substance use disorders are addressed and make certain that defendants comply with prescribed psychiatric/psychological treatment.
Michigan Supreme Court studies have shown that individuals who complete a mental health court program are less likely to become repeat offenders are more likely to find employment and housing, and become, overall, more satisfied with their lives. The purpose of our CTC is to end the revolving door of incarceration and repeat offenses that is present with criminal defendants who have mental health issues. Personally, I’ve found this work to be extremely rewarding as I get to witness the true development of individuals once they receive appropriate mental health intervention.
Read more about Judge Dan Palmer's efforts to institute a new Mental Health Court.