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AG Nessel, Genesee County Sheriff Swanson and Prosecutor Leyton Launch Job Court Pilot Program
June 20, 2023
FLINT– Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Sheriff Chris Swanson and Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton officially launched the Genesee Job Court Prosecutor Diversion Program this morning at the Genesee County Michigan Works office.
“Job Court is a transformational diversion pilot program that aims to reduce recidivism and help businesses by providing Michigan residents 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 Genesee program will help match 150 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.
“Job Court is an exciting new approach to dealing with low level, non-violent crimes that I support. It holds offenders accountable while at the same time provides them with an incentive and an opportunity to get on the right path in life and be a productive member of our community,” said Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton.
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, $1.35 million has been allocated for Genesee County. The Job Court program in Marquette was launched in April, and will launch in Wayne County next week. Continued funding for Job Court has been included in the Executive Recommendation to the budget, as well as the House and Senate recommendations. The Department looks forward to being able to continue this critical work.