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: 

 

Enhance the Child Care Fund (CCF)

MCYJ is advocating 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. 

 

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. 

 

Strengthen and Expand the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman 

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

 

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. 

 

Enhance Traditional 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.