Director of Youth Justice Policy
Jason Smith leads MCYJ’s legislative advocacy efforts and is responsible for managing several of MCYJ's projects that aim to reduce the use of out of home placement through the statewide expansion of effective, community-based programming for justice-involved youth. In the past, Jason served as the lead researcher and co-author of "Restoring Kids; Transforming Communities,” a report that details the use of juvenile court diversion programs in Michigan.
Jason began his career in the field of juvenile justice as an intern with the Ingham County Circuit Court’s Family Division. After graduating from Michigan State University, Jason worked as a direct care provider at a transitional home for adjudicated girls, then as a case manager within Wayne County’s juvenile justice system. While working on his Master of Social Work degree at the University of Michigan, Jason interned with the Washtenaw County Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative and MCYJ. Before joining MCYJ in 2014, Jason co-managed a youth diversion program in Skokie, IL and was also a 2011 Youth Justice Leadership Institute Fellow with the National Juvenile Justice Network.