Specialty Courts

Specialty Courts

Livingston County’​s Specialty Courts follow the requirements of Michigan state laws. For drug courts, that means following the Ten Key Components of Drug Courts.  Research shows that Drug Courts work. People who participate in Drug Courts, where treatment and judicial oversight are combined into one program, are less likely to find their way back into the court system –​ either for criminal charges or for child neglect or abuse charges. Livingston County actively participates in Drug Courts and other problem solving courts to help improve outcomes for the community.

Adult Drug Court: Hon. Michael Hatty presides over Adult Drug Court. The team includes representatives from the Court, Prosecutor’s Office, Probation, the Sheriff, a Defense Attorney, Community Corrections, Community Mental Health, and treatment providers. Participants have had non-violent felony criminal cases and have been assessed to have substance abuse problems. Participation is voluntary. They appear twice per month for a hearing before the Court, and are expected to attend treatment at least once per week, sober supports such as AA/NA in the community, drug testing, regular check-ins with Probation, and other services as needs are identified. Participants are recognized in court for their accomplishments, and when they break the rules, the consequences are consistent with Drug Court policies. The program is approximately one year long, with an additional year of follow-up. Treatment and testing are paid for during the first year, as long as funding remains available to the court. Graduates of the program are recognized by the entire team for their commitment to sobriety, and many people credit Drug Court with getting them on the path to staying sober, and being able to contribute to their family and their community in a positive way.  A person interested in entering Adult Drug Court can discuss it with his or her Defense Attorney.

Family Treatment Court: Hon. Miriam Cavanaugh presides over Family Treatment Court. The team includes representatives from the Court, Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Human Services, Community Mental Health, attorneys for parents and for children in Child Neglect and Abuse cases, LACASA, and private mental health practitioners. Participants are parents in Child Neglect and Abuse cases, with no violent criminal convictions as defined by Michigan laws, and have been assessed to have substance abuse problems. Participation is voluntary. They appear weekly, or less frequently, as they move through the program, which lasts about a year. They are expected to attend treatment, sober supports such as AA/NA in the community, drug testing, regular check-ins with their DHS Case Manager, and other services as needs are identified. Participants are recognized in court for their accomplishments, and when they break the rules, the consequences are consistent with Drug Court policies. Graduates of the program are recognized by the entire team for their commitment to sobriety, and reunification of parents with their children, with no further need for court involvement in their family, is the ultimate goal of this court. Graduates of the program have credited their time in this program as changing their lives, and helping them to parent their children in a way that is sober and safe, and that will contribute to their children’s well being. A parent interested in entering Family Treatment Court can discuss it with his or her attorney or assigned DHS Case Worker.

Intensive Treatment Mental Health Court: Hon. Carol Sue Reader presides over Intensive Treatment Mental Health Court. This court is different from Drug Courts in that it is a “problem solving”​ court, that is looking at the problem of mental illness primarily. Many of those who have issues with mental illness have “​co-occurring” substance abuse issues, so many of the same practices as Drug Courts are followed. The team includes representatives from the Court, Prosecutor’​s Office, District Court and Circuit Court Probation, a Defense Attorney, Community Mental Health, and the Jail.  There is also a Peer Support mentor on the team, and available to help participants outside of the court. Participants have had non-violent felony or misdemeanor criminal cases and have been assessed to have a diagnosed mental illness. Participation is voluntary. They appear weekly for a hearing before the Court, or less frequently as they progress through the program, and are expected to attend mental health treatment as well as other identified services, including substance abuse treatment if needed. Participants are recognized in court for their accomplishments, and when they break the rules, the consequences are consistent with Drug Court policies. The program is approximately one year long. Treatment and testing are paid for, as long as funding remains available to the court. Graduates of the program are recognized by the entire team for the positive changes they have made to their lives.  A person interested in entering Intensive Treatment Mental Health Court can discuss it with his or her Defense Attorney.

Juvenile Drug Court: Hon. David Reader presides over Juvenile Drug Court. The team includes representatives from the Court, Prosecutor’s Office, Juvenile Probation, a Defense Attorney, and treatment providers. Participants are youth involved in Juvenile Justice cases who have been assessed to have substance abuse problems, and meet other Michigan state law criteria. Participation is ordered by the court. They appear once per week for a hearing before the Court, and are expected to attend treatment at least once per week, drug testing, regular check-ins with Juvenile Probation, and other services as needs are identified. Parents are expected to attend a parent support group once per week and the court hearings. Participants are recognized in court for their accomplishments, and when they break the rules, the consequences are consistent with Drug Court policies. The program is approximately one year long. Treatment and testing are paid, as long as funding remains available to the court.  A person interested in entering Juvenile Drug Court can discuss it with his or her Defense Attorney.