New task force to study juvenile justice reform

The governor calls Michigan's juvenile justice system a failure for at-risk youth.

By most measures, Michigan’s juvenile justice system is pretty bad. An investigation by ProPublica published last year found a slew of systemic problems – from judges incarcerating teens for things like skipping class to a lack of proper record keeping.

A new task force aims to fix those issues with an eye toward keeping teens out of the juvenile justice system in the first place.

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On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the formation of the Task Force on Juvenile Justice – a group that will study the data surrounding juvenile justice in the state and issue policy suggestions.

“We believe that we must reduce people‚Äôs contact with the system in the first place, but when they do come into contact, we must especially treat our youngest Michiganders with dignity, humanity, and respect,” said Whitmer.

The task force will meet with people who have been a part of the juvenile justice system as well as police, judges, and experts to develop policy proposals.

The task force is bipartisan, which will hopefully give its recommendations weight if they eventually come before lawmakers. The group is expected to issue those recommendation by July 2022.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.