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Take Action!

  • Write a Letter in Support of Justice for Kids & Communities!

Do you want to show your support for juvenile justice and go the extra mile? Write a letter to your local legislators, and urge them to take up this transformative bill package in the House and Senate!
 

Juvenile Justice Task Force Recommendations

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. MCYJ is prioritizing five key recommendations in addition to eliminating fines and fees, including: 

 

HB 4624 / SB 0418: Enhance the Child Care Fund (CCF):

Corresponding Bills: HB 4627, HB 4628, HB 4629

SB 0421, SB 0422, SB 0423

MCYJ advocates for establishing a minimum framework of juvenile justice best practices statewide. These best practices will be supported by an increase in the community-based services and supervision reimbursement rate for counties and tribes to incentivize and support the development, expansion, and strengthening of community-based services and formal alternatives to detention and incarceration. 

HB 4625 - HB 4626 / SB 0419 - SB 0420: Expand the Diversion Act:

MCYJ and our partners are working to expand the Juvenile Diversion Act so that the overwhelming majority of offenses are eligible for pre-court diversion, based on the use of a risk screening tool and other factors, and limit the length of time that a youth can be placed on pre-court diversion. 

HB 4630 HB 4631 / SB 0424 - SB 0425 Expand the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission:

The expansion will include development, oversight, and compliance with youth defense standards in local county defense systems and expand the State Appellate Defender Office to include appellate services for juveniles, which will include post-dispositional services. 

HB 4632 / SB 0426 Adjustment of Juvenile Justice Residential Per Diem Rate & Changes to Provider Service Agreements:

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) is given the authority to adjust the per diem (daily) rate for juvenile justice residential services as needed. However, any adjustments must stay within the budgetary amount allocated for this purpose in the annual budget. MDHHS is also given the authority to make changes to provider service agreements. This is intended to address issues such as bed shortages, staff retention, and service needs within the juvenile justice system.

HB 4633 / SB 0427 Revise Considerations for Waivers and Designations: 

It is necessary to revise factors that are considered by the court to better account for a youth’s developmental maturity and emotional and mental health, and their ability to get more treatment and rehabilitation for these needs in the juvenile justice system.

 

HB 4638 / SB 0432 Strengthen and Expand the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman: 

Corresponding Bills: HB 4639, HB 4640, HB 4641, HB 4642, HB 4643

SB 0433, SB 0434, SB 0435, SB 0436, SB 0437

Enhance new and current processes for handling, investigating, and reporting incidents in juvenile facilities. ​​

 

For a technical breakdown of each bill, please click here

Educational Events

  • 2023 Forum on Juvenile Justice Reform

On March 9th, 2023 MCYJ partnered with the League of Women Voters of Washtenaw County to share the findings from the report created by the Juvenile Justice Task Force at a community forum. Panelists included MCYJ executive director, Jason Smith, and co-director of Juvenile Justice Clinic and University of Michigan Law professor, Kim Thomas. Both Smith and Thomas discussed a breakdown of the main points from the 32 recommendations in the report.  At the end of the discussion, community members were able to engage in a Q&A session with the panelists.

View the full video from the event here.

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