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Lt. Governor Gilchrist II, AG Nessel Launch Job Court Employer Engagement Survey

LANSING – Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced the launch of the Job Court Employer Engagement Survey

The launch of the Employer Engagement Survey is the next step in the rollout of Job Court, a prosecutorial diversion pilot program to give up to 450 eligible defendants in Wayne, Genesee and Marquette Counties accused of low-level crimes an opportunity to obtain and maintain gainful employment. The Employer Engagement Survey is an online tool available for businesses and organizations in the three counties that are interested in hiring Job Court participants. Eligible participants will be matched with employers to work good paying jobs to learn transferable career skills and the opportunity to dismiss eligible charges after completing the program.

“Jobs Court is an innovative program that checks all of the boxes: it’s smart on crime, reduces the burden on our criminal justice system, puts offenders on a permanent path to success, helps our local businesses, and makes our communities safer,” AG Nessel said. “I am grateful to all the businesses and stakeholders who have shown an interest in being part of the Job Court program.  If given the choice between prison time or getting a job, I believe most people would choose to go to work. Jobs Court is that choice.”

“Jobs Court is a key part of our work to reform Michigan’s criminal justice system, grow our economy, and position Michiganders for success,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The budget invested $5 million in the Jobs Court pilot program in Wayne, Genesee, and Marquette counties, and Governor Whitmer and I are excited to see it grow. I encourage every employer who is ready to fill job openings and make a difference to fill out the Attorney General’s Employer Engagement Survey. Governor Whitmer and I will continue to partner with business owners, criminal justice advocates, and Attorney General Nessel to make a difference in Michigan communities.”

Job Court participants will be monitored for one year and be required to maintain frequent and open lines of communication with the employer and wraparound services from the state of Michigan to ensure accountability and compliance with the requirements of the program. 

“I truly believe that jobs can be the answer to many of society’s ills. Jobs create opportunity. Jobs create hope. Jobs create growth. Jobs create stability. A common dominator to success, even in the criminal justice system is a good job,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “For certain lower-level crimes, instead of jail or prison, you get a job. In Wayne County this will be a 150-defendant pilot program. Stay in the job for a year, or whatever period of time that a judge proscribes, and my office will dismiss your case. This is yet another first-of-its-kind project.  I am honored to be working with Attorney General Nessel. I thank Governor Whitmer for getting this funded, as well as our job providers for their interest in this inaugural project.”

“The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is proud to support this cutting-edge diversion program to reduce recidivism and provide new opportunities to those who need it most,” said Sheriff Raphael Washington. “We all know that jobs play an essential role in our society and have major impacts on our physical and mental health. Those who have been accused of low-level, non-assaultive offenses need these wrap-around services so they can maintain employment and stay on a path to a brighter future as a contributing member to society.”

“This epic initiative breaks barriers and begins to erase the stigma associated with the incarcerated.  As a Sheriff, I’m hungry to provide folks with sustainable opportunities to provide for their family and themselves.  And when they do, they are far less likely to reoffend.  This is transformative!  Well done Attorney General Nessel and Governor Whitmer!” Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson said.

“Jobs Court is an exciting new approach to dealing with low level, non-violent crimes that holds offenders accountable while at the same time provides them with an incentive and an opportunity to get on the right path in life and be a productive member of our community,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.

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