The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission has announced the availability of limited grant funds for local governments that fund trial courts to initiate projects that address best practices, improvements, or innovations to the local delivery of indigent defense services. Grants will be awarded up to $80,000 for one year beginning October 1, 2017. Separate from permanent compliance planning, these grants allow for local governments to pursue innovative projects to immediately improve indigent defense.
Read the Innovation Grants announcement and see the application here. As a convenience, a Microsoft Word version of the application is here. Applications must be submitted no later than July 28, 2017 to email@example.com.
Grant Funding for Compliance Planning
The Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act describes the distribution and receipt of grant funds in MCL §780.993. The relevant provisions are as follows.
If the MIDC determines that funding in excess of the indigent criminal defense system’s share is necessary in order to bring its system into compliance with the minimum standards established by the MIDC, that excess funding shall be paid by this state. The legislature shall appropriate to the MIDC the additional funds necessary for a system to meet and maintain those minimum standards, which shall be provided to indigent criminal defense systems through grants.
An indigent criminal defense system shall not be required to provide funds in excess of its local share. The MIDC shall provide grants to indigent criminal defense systems to assist in bringing the systems into compliance with minimum standards established by the MIDC.
The state of Michigan shall appropriate funds to the MIDC for grants to the local units of government for the reasonable costs associated with data required to be collected under this act that is over and above the local unit of government’s data costs for other purposes.
Within 180 days after receiving funds from the MIDC, an indigent criminal defense system shall comply with the terms of the grant in bringing its system into compliance with the minimum standards established by the MIDC for effective assistance of counsel.
The MIDC may apply for and obtain grants from any source to carry out the purposes of this act. All funds received by MIDC, from any source, are state funds and shall be appropriated as provided by law.
Every indigent criminal defense system shall comply with an approved plan under this act. A system’s duty of compliance with the terms of the plan is contingent upon receipt of a grant in the amount contained in the plan and cost analysis approved by the MIDC. See MCL §780.997.