Specialty Courts

Drug Treatment Court

In October 1997, the 36th District Court established its Drug Treatment Court pilot project. The pilot project was a combined effort of the Court, the City of Detroit Health Department, The Detroit City Council, The Mayor's Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, and the Detroit Police Department.

In 1998, the Court was awarded grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Drug Courts Program Office, to implement a Drug Treatment Court. Offenders electing to participate in the program are given the opportunity to submit to substance abuse treatment and to comply with all other conditions imposed by the Judge and Case Managers. Participants are required to appear for all scheduled status hearings, submit to urinalysis, and attend all treatment sessions. They may also be referred to enrichment programs including but not limited to job readiness and training, parenting classes, and GED/Adult Basic Education.

The primary goal of the Drug Treatment Court is to identify substance abusing offenders and to involve them in substance abuse treatment.  The Drug Treatment Court is designed to hold offenders accountable for their behavior while providing them with rehabilitative services necessary to maintain a law-abiding lifestyle.  Participation in Drug Treatment Court requires a commitment of 12 months to two years and includes three phases: Phase 1 – Stabilization, Phase 2 – Transition, and Phase 3 – Maintenance.  There is a graduation ceremony upon successful completion of the program.

Veterans Treatment Court

The 36th District Veterans Treatment Court was established in November 2010, and was the second Veterans Court in the State of Michigan.  The Veterans Treatment Court is designed to assist veterans with unique challenges with mental health and substance abuse, without having to experience any delays and to connect the veteran with available resources in a timely manner.

Veterans Treatment Court is committed to assisting with early intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation of those defendants who have served in the military services.  A veteran in contact with the criminal justice system can be appropriately diverted from a jail sentence and into mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.  Appropriate referrals and assistance with educational and employment goals may also be a part of the veteran’s sentence and plan of supervision.  The 36th District Veterans Treatment Court also works in conjunction with the John Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center to offer ancillary services to the veterans and works in collaboration with the Case Managers to achieve those goals.  Participation in Veterans Treatment Court requires a commitment of 12 months to two years and includes three levels: Level 1 – Stabilization, Level 2 – Transition, and Level 3 – Maintenance.

On-Site Drug Testing

On-site drug testing was implemented as a means to identify drug abusing offenders. Most importantly, drug testing is used in the Probation Department as a vehicle for substance abuse treatment and offender rehabilitation. Early identification and intervention enhances the ability of the probation officer or case manager to make appropriate treatment referrals and to effectively link the legal sanctions of the Court with therapeutic processes of community drug treatment programs.

Community Service

The community service program is a program through which convicted offenders are placed in unpaid positions with nonprofit or tax supported agencies to serve a specified number of hours doing work or service within a given time frame as a sentencing option or as a condition of probation. The Community Service Specialist is responsible for placement, monitoring and notifying the Court of the offender’s compliance. Community service may be used as alternative to a jail sentence or fines and costs. There are many perceived advantages to community service.

  • Value of probationer's service to the community agency
  • Therapeutic effects on a probationer such as atonement for misdeed
  • Exposure to the work environment Reduction in jail overcrowding
  • Symbolic compensation to the community
  • Reduction in probation supervision caseload