A lot has changed when it comes to the way we approach juvenile justice in the past couple of decades. In the mid 1990s, Michigan was one of a number of states that took a “tough on youth crime” stance, enacting laws that locked up more kids, even for non-violent crimes. Activists and academics alike challenged harsh sentences in favor of community based alternatives.
Now, states across the country are working to reform their policies and create better outcomes for youth who end up in the juvenile justice system. Michigan was recently one of four states chosen by the National Governor’s Association to participate in a “learning lab” for juvenile justice reform.
Current State talks with Herman McCall, director of Juvenile Justice Programs for the Michigan Department of Human Services, and Kristen Staley, senior policy associate at the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.