Podcasts & RSS Feeds
Most Active Stories
- Don't like the water shut-offs in Detroit? Now you can pay someone's overdue water bill
- Approaching construction on the highway? Experts say the "zipper merge" can help
- These three female candidates could be some of the most interesting leaders in Michigan
- This ballot proposal is critical to Michigan's economy, but most people won't bother to vote on it
- Those who want to outlaw publications over sexually explicit ads should study Constitution first
Wed May 23, 2012
Juvenile court competency standards would include mental health treatment
Michigan lawmakers are expected to vote next week on two bills that would create a system to determine the mental competency of juveniles who break the law.
Some troubled children in Michigan don't have access to mental health services until they wind up in court.
The state Senate bills would let a prosecutor or a juvenile's defense lawyer ask for a competency evaluation. A judge would also be able to order an evaluation.
Michelle Weemhoff is with the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.
She says children don't have the same rights to mental health treatment that many adults have.
"The parents have been telling me that they have been instructed by a mental health provider to file charges against their own child in order to access mental health services that are only available when a youth is adjudicated in the court," Weemhoff says.
She says younger children have been coming into the court system more often over the past several years.
Weemhoff says there should be a standard system in place to insure that juveniles understand the charges against them.