Substance Abuse Assessments in Michigan Criminal Cases

In Michigan Courts, substance abuse assessments often are ordered by Circuit Court and District Court Judges prior to sentencing a Defendant.  The assements usually consist of interviews, drug testing, and diagnostic testing.  The sentencing Judge is required by Michigan law to order a substance abuse assessment in drinking and driving cases.  The sentencing Judge has the discretion to order a substance abuse assessment for a Defendant even if the conviction is not related to drugs or alcohol.  The purpose behind the substance abuse assessment is to see whether the Defendant will benefit from rehabilitative services such as drug treatment programs, alcohol treatment programs, and educational programs as part of his or her sentence.  At the time of sentencing the probation department makes a recommendation to the sentencing Judge as to a course of treatment for the Defendant, and it is the decision of the Court whether or not to adopt that recommendation.

The diagnostic testing used by the probation department include:
1.  ADE Needs/Risk
2.  Addition Severity Index (ASI)
3.  Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI)
4.  Driver Risk Inventory
5.  Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)
6.  Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-3)
The sentencing Judge often orders the Defendant to participate in educational or rehabilitation programs such as:
1.  Alcohol Highway Safety Education
2.  In patient treatment
3.  Intensive In Patient treatment
4.  Outpatient treatment
5.  Residential treatment
6.  Victim Impact Panel
The Defendant is responsible for the cost of the screening and for the rehabilitative service ordered.  Costs for this can vary from Court to Court.  The Defendant is also ordered to sign any releases of confidentiality so the probation department can monitor the Defendant’s progress.  The information remains confidential to others.
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