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Problem-solving courts are innovative programs designed to address an offender's underlying problem. Trial Court Services staff facilitate efficient and comprehensive problem-solving court programs through training, education, planning, evaluation, monitoring, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and establishing operational standards and guidelines.


Recidivism Measures for Sobriety and Drug Courts

What is a Recidivism Rate for a Sobriety and Drug Court?

Recidivism rates measure how many participants were convicted of a new offense in comparison to similar offenders who did not participate in problem-solving court programs.  For a more detailed definition of recidivism, see Michigan Drug Court Recidivism Definitions and Methodology.

Why is it Important to Measure Recidivism Rates for Sobriety and Drug Courts?

Sobriety and drug court programs are aimed at breaking the cycle of addiction and crime through intensive treatment and other services.  In turn, this reduces the chance that participants will reoffend, it improves outcomes for individuals, families, and communities, and it generates substantial savings for taxpayers.  Data shows, for each court type, whether graduates of sobriety and drug courts are substantially less likely to commit another crime.  See the annual report of Michigan’s Problem-Solving Courts, Solving Problems, Saving Lives.

How is the Rate of Recidivism Measured?

The comparison group is developed by matching participants of a drug/sobriety court to non-participant offenders that have similar criminal histories and demographics.  They are matched on gender, age range, county, court, and offense category, and the number of court cases in the two years prior to the potential comparison participant’s offense must fall within the same range as the drug court participant.  Only the pairs that are statistically comparable are included in the analyses.
Participants’ recidivism is measured within two years and four years from the time of admission into a program, and for comparison members, within two and four years from the time their matching offenses were opened in the court’s case management system.  Each participant and comparison member must have had enough time to recidivate to be included in each analysis.
For details of the methodology for calculating recidivism rates, see Michigan Drug Court Recidivism Definitions and Methodology.

Michigan's Problem-Solving Courts: Solving Problems, Saving Lives (pdf)​​ 
This annual report about Michigan's problem-solving courts tells stories of judges, court staff, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel and treatment professionals working together, case by case, to make a positive difference in the lives of participants. It also includes a technical analysis that focuses on court performance and outcomes from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2015.


NEWS RELEASE: Report: Problem-Solving Courts Reduce Crime, Cut Costs to Taxpayers (pdf)

The report, Solving Problems, Saving Lives, released today by the Michigan Supreme Court says that graduates of drug, sobriety, and mental health treatment courts are substantially less likely to commit another crime. These “problem-solving” courts divert offenders into special programs that provide the treatment and supervision offenders need to stay out of trouble.