89.1 WEMU

Summit Looks At Mental Health, Criminal Justice In Michigan

Nov 8, 2017

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
Credit State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Experts in mental health and criminal justice were in Lansing Tuesday as part of Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to overhaul both systems – and help people struggling with addiction, unemployment, and, sometimes, criminal behavior.   

Governor Snyder formed the group four years ago to help come up with ways to integrate physical and mental health services. 


“And that’s a message that I still don’t think people fully understand – you can’t separate physical and mental health.” 

Governor Rick Snyder told the group it has a critical mission.  


“Because we’re talking real people and their lives, and the impact. It affects them, their families, and the rest of us.” 

Michigan Corrections Director Heidi Washington was a keynote speaker.  She says there’s more to be done to provide early assistance when people run into problems.


“And putting our resources, hopefully, more on the front end of the system so that we’re helping people earlier on in the process, turning them around, and diverting them from the path of incarceration.” 

Governor Rick Snyder created the Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council in 2013.  Some mental health advocates are concerned the Snyder administration’s plans would shift too much responsibility for services to for-profit insurance companies. 

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org