Justice and Jobs: Why Criminal Justice Reform and Access to Justice are Vital to Detroit and Michigan
About This Meeting
The Honorable Garlin Gilchrist, Lt. Governor of Michigan, and the Honorable Bridget Mary McCormack, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, shared findings from their recently completed analysis of Michigan’s jail populations with the DEC on Tuesday.
McCormack and Gilchrist explained some of the task force’s 18 recommendations and urged policymakers to address both the large number of people whose lives are disrupted by short jail stays, who consume significant amounts of public safety resources, and the relatively small group of people whose long stays drive up county jail populations.
“This is something that is wreaking havoc on our communities,” Gilchrist said. “Since we know that one time in jail increases the likelihood of someone returning, we should be thoughtful about who goes to jail.”
Not only does incarceration impact an individual’s family and community, McCormack also stressed the direct impact it has on the economy.
“When you think about the money we are spending,” McCormack explained. “If you’re not spending it on jailing people who don’t need to be there and are not contributing when they are there, you are probably going to free up money for things that might make our communities safer and healthier. And might make our businesses more able to have employees who can come to work.”
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Roderick D. Gillum
Editorial Page Editor