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Bill promoting mental health courts clears the Michigan House


LANSING (WKZO) -- A four bill package that will make it easier for Michigan counties to set up Mental Health Courts has cleared the Michigan House by a wide margin.

The specialty court would divert offenders with mental health problems into treatment programs instead of expensive jail cells, using the promise of rehabilitation and the threat of incarceration as the carrot and stick.

Rep. Margaret O’Brien of Portage sponsored one of the bills. It’s less expensive than jail and they are less likely to repeat offend.

Kalamazoo is one of 16 counties that already have a mental health court up and running and it served as a model for the legislation.

The Package of bills now goes to the senate for their consideration.