Lansing State Journal News Article on East Lansing Veterans Court

There’s not much I can add to this news article on the 54-B District Court in East Lansing Veterans Court program. So, I’m basically just passing along the link to anyone who should happen to stumble across this page. The article is a worthwhile look at the Veterans Court.

I don’t have personal experience with the Veterans Court, yet, but, any time you have a court that can specialize in the needs of a certain aspect of the criminal justice system, it’s a good thing. Especially when you’re talking abut something as important as giving a fair chance to our Veterans that might find themselves tangled up in the Court System. Recognizing the different circumstances of those that come in contact with the court system is a step in a positive direction.

“Here’s a guy who (lost an eye) — on our behalf,” Jordon said. “His sacrifice for us merited us doing something for him. Not just cutting him a deal.”

But at the time, Jordon added: “I just didn’t know what to do for him. I didn’t have a plan, a system.”

That has changed.

Jordon, a judge in East Lansing’s 54B District Court, now heads one of the five court programs in the state that focus on treating veterans. Nationwide, there are about 80.

For the rest of the article, again, here’s the link.

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Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) – Vital for those between the age of 17 and 21

The last article that I wrote on this blog was about a program called “Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration” held at Lansing Community College. The program was designed to help community youths avoid a future of incarceration.

One thing that I wanted to use this blog to talk about based on that program was a program called the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, or HYTA, as it will be referred to in this article. HYTA is vital for those between the ages of 17 and 21 when it comes to the legal process. HYTA allows for the slate to essentially be wiped clean after the defendant completes the terms of their probation.

I do want to first say that this article is intended to just be a brief introduction to what is available with the HYTA process. Any defendant should speak at length with their attorney about their options, I want to raise some points today that hopefully will be helpful at looking at HYTA in a general way, as well as sharing my experiences with this deferral program.

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Michigan to review law regulating baby-sitting

I posted an article to Twitter this morning about a Michigan law that a state agency claims a woman is violating by watching the children of several sets of neighbors as they wait for a school bus. The article was picked up by the front page of Yahoo, so is likely getting some widespread exposure today.

Here is the core of the article:

IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood’s children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.

Regulators who oversee child care, however, don’t see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she’d be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.

According to the article, she did so because the other families were working and could not watch their children. To help out her neighbors, not to run a day-care. The situation provides an interesting look at the law and how it interacts with people on a daily basis. Specifically, in how we take situations in our daily lives to better the law.

Governor Jennifer Granholm and other state representatives look to be attacking this situation head-on, as new legislation that would exempt situations like this one is currently being drafted.