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New bills make it possible to establish mental health courts in Michigan


LANSING (WKZO) -- Michigan Counties now have a template to follow to set up their own mental health courts, thanks to a set of bills signed by the Lt. Governor earlier this week.

State Rep. Margaret O’Brien says the guidelines are modeled partly after Kalamazoo County’s Mental Health Court.

The goal of the Specialty court is to divert the mentally ill into treatment programs where they can get help, instead of prison where they become an expensive and disruptive burden on the system.

There are already 19 counties with the specialty courts.