Snyder creates Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice

Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the merger of two commissions that worked on juvenile justice issues, creating the combined Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, an advisory board to be held within the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Snyder issued Executive Order 2012-1, which establishes the 15-member committee to advise on juvenile justice issues and guide effective implementation of juvenile justice policies and programs.

Previously, the 30-member Michigan Commission on Juvenile Justice and the nine-member Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Advisory both provided guidance to the governor. The new, smaller joint commission will provide better focus on issues and be more likely to meet quorum requirements. The membership of the new committee will also contain judges, members active within the community and law enforcement personnel. Prevention of juvenile delinquency will play a significant role in the committee's advisory function.

"The promotion of stronger families, healthier youth and safer communities in our state is of utmost importance," said Snyder. "With the merger of the two commissions and the appointments of these new committee members with such vast and pertinent experience, I am confident these changes will help produce effective and comprehensive strategies to address the issues of, and help reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency."

Members appointed to the revised committee include: Midland County Probate Court Chief Judge Dorene Allen, Melissa Baldwin; Crime Stoppers of Michigan President and CEO John Broad; Grand Traverse County Circuit Court Chief Probation Officer Barbara Donaldson, Family Division; Osceola County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairperson Lawrence "Larry" Emig; Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Fink; Ottawa County Circuit Court Juvenile Services Director Sandra Metcalf, Family Division; Alternatives for Girls CEO Amanda "Amy" Good; Kari Kusmierz, captain and commander of the training division for the Michigan State Police; Larissa Niec, child psychologist, director of the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic and Research Lab at Central Michigan University and a psychology professor at Central Michigan University; Ed Roth of The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University; Brandon Shire; Black Family Development Inc. COO Kenyatta Stephens; Midcourse Correction Challenge Camps Inc. founder and Executive Director Richard Wood.

One committee vacancy exists that will represent members who have been or are currently under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system and under the age of 24 at the time of appointment.

Appointees will serve three-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2014, and their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Published: Wed, Feb 22, 2012