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AG Nessel Launches Marquette Job Court Pilot Program

MARQUETTE – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Marquette County Prosecutor's Office officially launched the Marquette Job Court Prosecutor Diversion Program this morning.

“Job Court is a transformational diversion pilot program that aims to reduce recidivism and help businesses by providing Michiganders accused of low-level, non-assaultive offenses with the opportunity to obtain and maintain gainful employment,” said Nessel. “This program is smart on crime, it reduces the burden on our criminal justice system, puts offenders on a permanent path to success, helps our local businesses, and will make our communities safer."

The Marquette program will help match 100 participants, chosen by the Prosecutor, with a participating employer and case worker. Eligible participants are screened for eligibility on a case-by-case basis by considering factors like suitability for employment, past criminal history, and potential impact on public safety. Job Court participants who successfully complete the one-year program will be provided with the opportunity to have their criminal charges dismissed to set them on a pathway to a better future.

“Many criminal defendants have not had the opportunities or supports to be a successful, productive member of society,” said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese. “When someone commits a crime, but they are willing to take personal responsibility for their actions, my office will afford them a second chance to prove themselves by working a full-time job or learning a new skill or trade. If they are successful, my office will dismiss their case. I expect that this project will reduce repeat offenders and contribute to our local economy. We are fortunate to have been selected as one of three pilot counties in the state for this project. I thank Governor Whitmer for obtaining funding for this initiative and Attorney General Nessel for coordinating its implementation.”

In addition to on-the-job training, gainful employment and benefits, participants will be eligible to receive wrap-around services to assist in the successful completion of the program and help set them on the path towards long-term success. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • Addiction and recovery therapy
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • Educational literacy and testing 
  • Transportation services
  • Food and clothing assistance
  • Identification / driver’s license restoration
  • Assistance with benefits (SNAP, Medicaid, WIC)

Only individuals with low-level, non-assaultive offenses will be accepted as potential participants for the Job Court Program. Disqualifying offenses include but are not limited to domestic and sexual violence, assault, and theft/dishonesty offenses such as retail fraud, embezzlement and larceny.

The Department is continuing to seek partnerships with employers and service providers in Marquette, Wayne and Genesee Counties. Interested employers can visit the Job Court website, complete the online survey, or email the department directly.

$4.8 million dollars have been appropriated by the Michigan Legislature for the Job Court Pilot Program. Of that, $1.1 million has been allocated for Marquette County. Launch dates will be announced soon for Wayne and Genesse Counties.


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