“Together, we can make an impact. Think of the possibilities if we join hands and do something.”
– Jodi Switalski, Switalski Law
As a former district court judge in Oakland County, Jodi Switalski created one of the nations largest and most successful Veterans Courts in the nation while Mark did the same in Macomb County. Through this program, Veterans were able to reclaim their lives and reconnect with their families.
A veterans’ treatment court is designed to serve military veterans (and occasionally active-duty personnel) by helping America’s heroes get the mental health and substance abuse treatment they need. These courts promote sobriety, recovery and stability by collaborating with industry professionals as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration, state Department of Veterans Affairs, volunteer mentors, and other organizational support. Jodi remains a staunch supporter of these efforts in her advocacy work and law practice.
“Jodi’s work with veterans suffering from PTSD and addiction is unparalleled.” Colonel (Ret) John E. Walus.
While serving as judges, both Mark and Jodi worked hard to battle the opioid crisis they saw flooding their courtrooms, damaging lives and ripping apart families. Jodi went on to become a nationally recognized expert on substance abuse, drug treatment courts and other diversion programs. Jodi is a keynote speaker and is well versed on the opioid epidemic, illicit drug use, illegal prescriptions, trauma to the brain and the impact to decision making skills and relationships. She knows addiction AND recovery.
Jodi is keenly aware of the danger that substance abuse poses to individuals struggling and their families. She has witnessed it within her own family. Jodi regularly utilizes this expertise within her law practice. Substance abuse organizations that Jodi has regularly worked with include the DEA and Unite to Face Addiction-Michigan.
Victim advocates offer emotional support, resource assistance, help with crime related issues and more. Switalski Law advocates for victims and engages criminal justice organizations and social service agencies to help victims achieve the rights they deserve. Many victims find it difficult to reach out.
Jodi often says that sometimes victims need someone to say “help me” because you can’t say it and need someone who is braver to say it for you. Jodi and Mark get it and have witnessed this throughout their judicial tenures. Their philosophy is that no matter who the victim is, they are someone’s friend or family member so there is no reason to pass judgement. If we all band together, we can do something.
Criminal Justice Reform
Experience across all angles of the law has driven criminal justice reform advocacy at Switalski Law. Historical tough on crime policies and lack of resources for adequate legal representation has led to mass incarceration and racial disparity. Prisons are being used to house the mentally ill when they need resources and treatment that helps, not punish.
Parole reform, wrongful convictions and mandatory sentences are also fueling the incarceration rate. Expungements offer a second chance for those who have paid their dues. Switalski Law supports and actively participates in expungement fairs that offer free and easy access to attorneys for review of criminal records and eligibility.
Switalski Law played an active role in the expungement of community activist Thomas Barnes which was profiled in the Macomb Daily. Mark and Jodi are a voice of authority on equal justice for all.
Advocating for change in mental health awareness, stigma and reform are key areas that Jodi dedicates her advocacy to. She stands up for those who are afflicted and teaches policy makers about mental health conditions, medical coverage, warning signs and stigma that affects millions. With the onset of COVID-19, calls to mental health hotlines have increased 1000% in some instances.
Awareness of mental health issues is now more important than ever. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, isolation, pr in a relationship that is violent and you can’t get out of, reach out to an organization, friend or family member. Jodi’s mantra: “Together, we can all make a difference.”