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Current Projects & Campaigns

MCYJ works to advance equitable youth justice policies and practices that protect young people and help them achieve their full potential. Our work revolves around the main themes of:

  • Seeking to improve youth justice services from the point of first contact with the police through reentry from incarceration, using a trauma-informed lens.

  • Promoting the use of diversion, assuring equal access to justice in the courts. 

  • Expanding community-based services for justice-involved youth.

  • Removing all youth from adult jails and prisons.

  • Improving safety in juvenile residential/detention facilities.

  • Increasing confidentiality and expungement regarding youth records.

Through research, collaboration, and advocacy-oriented strategies, we work to shape public policy and educate justice system stakeholders. MCYJ’s past and current projects include:

MCYJ is working in partnership with Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit to create LGBTQ+ affirming juvenile justice system in Wayne County that does not criminalize LGBTQ+ youth, appropriately addresses their unique needs in community-based settings, and prevents harms associated with detention and incarceration.

In Michigan, the assessment and collection of fines and fees on justice-involved youth can have lasting detrimental effects. MCYJ has called upon Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Supreme Court to end these harmful practices.

The bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force, formed by Governor Whitmer and led by Lt. Governor Gilchrist, took a comprehensive look at the state's system, and released its report July 22, 2022 with 32 recommendations for improving Michigan's juvenile justice system. You can view the report here.

Workforce Development

MCYJ will more deliberately engage in research, outreach, engagement and advocacy regarding workforce policies and programs for justice-involved youth in the coming year. Through national and state research, robust collaboration, and advocacy, MCYJ is committed to helping Michigan become a leader in workforce development programs for justice-involved youth.

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