Final reports from Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable focus on juvenile, adult justice reform

The Hudson-Webber Foundation, in partnership with The Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Michigan League for Public Policy, has released two reports focused on adult and juvenile justice reform in Michigan. Both reports were developed from data and input gathered during the Michigan Safety and Justice Roundtable, convened in September 2018 in Detroit.

The two-day forum assembled leaders and decision-makers from across the state to engage in nonpartisan conversations that advance fair and equitable youth and adult justice system approaches that promote positive youth development, effectively address crime and promote safety in Michigan’s communities.

Each report comprises a series of condensed briefings on a selection of criminal justice issues based on the input and expertise of conference attendees, as well as assessments of current progress, updates on the work of organizations engaged in specific areas of concern, and potential action items for consideration.

“The roundtable and resulting reports reflect input of diverse leaders and experts from across disciplines who came together with a shared mission to improve outcomes for thousands of justice-involved adults and youth across Michigan,” said Melanca Clark, president and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation. “These reports provide specific, tangible ideas and resources for the next generation of policymakers in our state. We hope they will serve as a blueprint for creating a non-partisan and comprehensive vision for fair and effective justice in Michigan,” said Clark.

Contributors and roundtable participants included experts in juvenile and criminal justice from local and state government, members of the judiciary, law enforcement, academics, advocates and philanthropic funders. The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, engaged to provide support to the Roundtable, assisted with planning, content development, and the facilitation of the convening.

“The Juvenile Justice Roundtable provided keen insight to the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, as many of our members attended the convening,” said former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly, chair of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice. “The input from all attendees will inform our priorities and work going forward. We are grateful to all who participated.”

“The Michigan League for Public Policy has been working on justice reforms since we were founded in 1912, and we were proud to be a part of this important and productive event to not only discuss the justice issues our state and its residents are facing, but also to outline concrete solutions,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “These reports were developed by a diverse group of people from all points of the political spectrum and justice system, and we hope they will inform and bolster the bipartisan momentum in the Legislature to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction and tackle other criminal justice reforms while also broadening the understanding of the economic and racial inequities in our current system.”

“The administration of criminal justice is a core function of government for which there is no market alternative,” said Kahryn Riley, director of criminal justice reform for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “We must move towards a more transparent and effective system in order to bolster public safety and protect individual liberties. Platforms like the Safety and Justice Roundtable bring together a diverse group of organizations to help define challenges and identify solutions. Although the organizations in attendance may not endorse every proposal generated during the conference, the clarity and points of consensus we did achieve will help us take steps in the right direction.”

Issues addressed in the “Co-Creating a Vision for Effective & Equitable Solutions for Justice-Involved Youth” report include:

• Youth justice data collection and management

• Preventing juvenile justice involvement

• Diverting youth from traditional justice system involvement

• Using evidence-based practices to reduce delinquency

• Expanding community-based care for justice involved youth

• Re-entry and aftercare for youth returning from out-of-home placement

Issues addressed in the “Co-Creating a Vision for Effective & Equitable Solutions for Justice-Involved Adults” report include:

• Data collection and reporting

• Community policing

• Poverty and confinement

• Alternatives to incarceration

• Reducing length of stay

• Removing post-incarceration barriers

The full reports are posted online at, and are available for download in PDF format at:

• Co-Creating a Vision for Effective & Equitable Solutions for Justice-Involved Youth Report

• Co-Creating a Vision for Effective & Equitable Solutions for Justice-Involved Adults Report wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MISafteyJusticeRoundtableAdult JusticeRPT.pdf

 “On behalf of our dedicated partner organizations, we express our deepest gratitude to the many dedicated roundtable participants who invested their effort and expertise in this project,” added Clark.