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  • James Townsend

Rep. Calley: New Michigan law helps troubled kids address mental health needs


State Rep. Julie Calley’s plan to create specialized juvenile mental health courts in Michigan has been signed into law.

Calley, of Portland, said Michigan’s current mental health courts successfully help struggling adults overcome their challenges through court-based treatment programs, reducing recidivism across the state. Her plan expands the opportunity to young people who run into trouble with the law.

“If our local courts have the choice to offer treatment to adults, then our young people deserve the same prospect,” Calley said. “Juvenile mental health courts will give young people the tools and support they need to grow up to lead healthy, successful lives.”

Calley said Michigan’s current procedures for mental health courts were established with the adult court system in mind. The juvenile system uses different terms, involves different entities, 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.

“These programs will focus on teaching troubled kids and their families to address the root cause of their challenges in a productive manner,” Calley said. “Helping and guiding kids through their troubles will give them brighter futures and reduce the chances of them repeating the same mistakes.”

The bills are now Public Acts 590-92 of 2018.

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