Guidebook Helps Mentors Care For Veterans In MI Criminal Justice System

May 16, 2019

There’s a new resource in Michigan to support veterans who enter the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenses. 

 


In 2013, Michigan created a network of treatment courts as an alternative for veterans who commit low-level crimes.  Many suffer from addiction or mental illness.  Veterans are paired with their peers who serve as mentors along their road to rehabilitation.  Now, a new guidebook is available for mentors to help them develop best practices.

Brigadier General (Ret.) Michael McDaniel is the associate dean of WMU-Cooley Law School in Lansing.  He says being a veteran mentor is a 24/7 commitment.

“You don’t want it to necessarily be a free-flowing environment that demands all your time,” McDaniel says.  “But to know when there’s a true emergency, a true event; how you react to that…just as you would for a friend, a family member or a battle buddy.”

Michigan currently operates 27 veterans treatment courts.  It’s one of the largest such systems in the U.S.