New pilot program launches to connect non-violent offenders with Genesee County employers
A pilot program to divert non-violent offenders away from jail and into jobs is getting underway in Genesee County.
The Job Court program connects screened individuals with potential employers. It also provides other services including mental health and addiction treatment, transportation and other assistance.
People taking part in the Job Court program will be able to avoid probation or jail time if they complete one year with a job.
Circuit Court Judge David Newblatt believes the program can have a profound effect.
“Once they have a job and they can see the power that it has in their lives, magic can happen,” said Newblatt. “People’s lives can change. I’ve seen it. And I want to see it more.”
There’s room for up to 450 people to take part in the pilot program in the three participating counties. The pilot launched in April in Marquette. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the $4.8 million program will expand to Wayne County next week.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton expects this program will also reduce his office’s caseload.
“That’s 150 cases that my over-burdened staff won’t have to handle,” said Leyton.
Employers interested in participating in the Job Court pilot program and the incentives being offered can get more information here.