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Snyder creates Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today 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:

Judge Dorene Allen, of Midland, is presiding probate and juvenile judge for Midland County and oversees the Midland County Juvenile Care Center. She received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. Allen will serve as the committee's chair and will represent representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, which may include state or local police, the local sheriff's department, juvenile and family court judges, prosecutors, counsel for children and youth, and probation workers.

Melissa Baldwin, of Ionia, currently works at Meijer and graduated from Ionia High School where she received the school's Youth Achievement Award. She will represent persons who have been, or are currently, involved in a juvenile justice program.

John Broad, of Grosse Pointe Farms, is president and CEO of Crime Stoppers of Michigan, the largest crime fighting organization in the world that works to empower citizens to make their neighborhoods, businesses and schools safer through the anonymous reporting of crime. Previously, Broad served as CEO of the Broad Group and of Broad AutoPark. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from the University of Michigan. Broad will represent persons with special experience and competence in addressing problems related to school violence and vandalism and alternatives to suspension and expulsion.

Barbara Donaldson, of Traverse City, is chief probation officer for the Grand Traverse County Family Division of the 13th Circuit Court. Previously, she served as community service work coordinator and criminal justice alternatives probation case worker for the 13th Circuit Court. She earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and corrections from Mercy College of Detroit, and will represent representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, which may include state or local police, the local sheriff's department, juvenile and family court judges, prosecutors, counsel for children and youth, and probation workers.

Lawrence "Larry" Emig, of Reed City, serves as county commissioner for Osceola County and is vice chairperson of the board. He also works for the Michigan Department of Human Services in Osceola County as the Strong Family/Safe Children coordinator, for the Mecosta/Osceola Continuum of Care as the continuum of care coordinator and for the Osceola County Community Foundation as director of community relations. Emig brings more than 30 years of experience in human services and juvenile justice, serving as a foster parent for 16 children over a 25-year period. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in education administration, both from Central Michigan University. Emig will represent locally elected officials in general purpose local government.

Jeffrey Fink, of Kalamazoo, is the Kalamazoo County prosecuting attorney and has 14 years of practice in family court, which includes juvenile delinquency and child abuse cases. Previously, Fink served as chief assistant prosecuting attorney and assistant prosecuting attorney for the County. He earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and a law degree from the University of Toledo Law School. Fink will represent representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, which may include state or local police, the local sheriff's department, juvenile and family court judges, prosecutors, counsel for children and youth, and probation workers.

Amanda "Amy" Good, of Detroit, is chief executive officer of Alternatives for Girls, a private non-profit agency that provides safe shelter, educational support, vocational guidance, mentoring, prevention activities and counseling for more than 900 homeless and high-risk girls and young women each year. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's of social work, both from the University of Michigan. Good will represent representatives of private non-profit organizations.

Kari Kusmierz, of Orleans, is captain and commander of the training division for the Michigan State Police, where she oversees recruiting, selection and training of recruits as well as all other training academy operations. She previously served as assistant district commander of the 6th district headquarters and assistant division commander and quality assurance manager of the forensic science division. Kusmierz holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Executive Leadership and Management Program at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University. She will represent representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, which may include state or local police, the local sheriff's department, juvenile and family court judges, prosecutors, counsel for children and youth, and probation workers.

Sandra Metcalf, of Grand Haven, is director of juvenile services for the 20th Circuit Court's Family Division. She brings nearly 40 years of experience in juvenile justice with extensive research in all areas of the field including female offenders, juvenile detention and re-entry. Metcalf holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in criminal justice graduate studies, both from Michigan State University, a master's of social work from Grand Valley State University and a master's degree in human services from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN. She will represent representatives of law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies, which may include state or local police, the local sheriff's department, juvenile and family court judges, prosecutors, counsel for children and youth, and probation workers.

Larissa Niec, of Mount Pleasant, is a licensed clinical 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. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Grinnell College in Iowa, a master's degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in child psychology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry. Niec will represent persons with special experience and competence in addressing problems related to learning disabilities, emotional difficulties, child abuse and neglect, and youth violence.

Ed Roth, of Sterling Heights, leads The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University and is responsible for managing a portfolio of K-12 public charter schools. Previously, Roth worked for the former Michigan Department of Social Services for 35 years; he brings extensive experience with human service programs, including protective services for children and adults, juvenile justice, health issues, criminal justice, entitlement programs, and education. Roth holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University, and will represent representatives of public agencies concerned with delinquency prevention or treatment, such as welfare, social services mental health, education, special education, recreation, and youth services.

Brandon Shire, of Midland, is studying criminal justice and law enforcement at Delta College. He will represent persons who have been, or are currently, involved in a juvenile justice program.

Kenyatta Stephens, of Farmington Hills, is chief operating officer of Black Family Development, Inc., a private non-profit comprehensive family counseling agency that was created in 1978 by the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. She previously worked with the Families First Domestic Violence Project and brings extensive experience developing community coalitions to improve the lives of children and parents living in distressed communities. Stephens received a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She will represent volunteers who work with delinquents or potential delinquents.

Richard Wood, of Brighton, is founder and executive director of Midcourse Correction Challenge Camps, Inc., and brings more than 40 years of experience working with at-risk youth and youth who show defiance and violence in the home. He holds a bachelor's degree in social work and Christian education from Asbury College in Wilmore, KY. Wood will represent youth workers involved with programs that are alternatives to incarceration, including programs providing organized recreation activities.  

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.

 

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