The Michigan Supreme Court has picked five projects to receive money for court innovations.
One project is a human trafficking court in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. It will determine whether offenders in prostitution cases are victims of human trafficking. If so, the court will offer services, not jail time.
Another involves using social media and technology to improve court communication in various counties.
Judge Timothy Connors is a trial court judge in Washtenaw County. His project, a peacemaking court, was also chosen for funding. It will use Native American principles to resolve disputes.
"This commitment by the Michigan Supreme Court is another important step in improving outcomes for children, families, and communities in our state courts," Connors said.
The plan is for other courts to copy the ideas that work. In a written statement from the Michigan Supreme Court, Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. said, "With these grants, we're unleashing the trial court's creativity. This is research and development funding for the courts. The ideas, if successful, can be emulated by other courts. One court's innovative idea may be the genesis for a statewide improvement."
Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom