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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 current projects include:

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 on July 22, 2022 with 32 recommendations for improving Michigan’s juvenile justice system. MCYJ is committed to enacting these essential reforms to transform our juvenile justice system. You can view the report here.

In December of 2023, a comprehensive juvenile justice reform bill package was signed into law by Lt. Governor Gilchrist. This bill signing marked a historic day in Michigan for juvenile justice reform. MCYJ is dedicated to supporting the implementation of this transformative reform throughout Michigan.

Workforce Development

MCYJ is engaging in research, outreach, engagement and advocacy regarding workforce policies and programs for Michigan's justice-involved youth. 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.

MCYJ's Voices of Justice Youth Fellowship is a leadership program for justice-involved youth ages 16-21. Our fellowship provides young people the tools, resources, and mentorship to turn personal experiences into powerful advocacy for change. You can learn more about the fellowship here.

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