Skip to main content

2021 Accomplishments Countdown: Public Safety and Criminal Justice


December 24, 2021 


2021 Accomplishments Countdown: Public Safety and Criminal Justice 

Governor Whitmer counts down to 2022 by highlighting administration's progress on 10 kitchen-table issues that makes a difference in people's lives 

LANSING, Mich. - The Whitmer-Gilchrist administration is counting down the last 10 days of 2021 by celebrating Michigan's progress on 10 fundamental kitchen-table issues. Today, we celebrate progress Michigan has made on public safety and criminal justice.  

"Every Michigander, no matter where they live or who they are, deserves to live safely and be treated equally under the law," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "As a former prosecutor, I am committed to protecting public safety and reducing crime so we can build strong, vibrant communities together. I will work with anyone to bring down crime, treat every Michigander with dignity and respect, and help families feel safe in their community. Together, we can build a safer, more just Michigan where every family can thrive, where every kid can get a great education, and where every person has a path to a good-paying, high-skill job." 

"This year Michigan recorded its lowest recidivism rate in state history, placing us sixth best in the nation. A low recidivism rate means less crime, fewer victims and safer communities," said Heidi Washington, Michigan Department of Corrections director. "Our focus on long-term public safety is returning individuals back to communities across this state who are better educated, and are trained to begin work in in-demand careers. This is important and complex work, but our dedicated employees are committed to doing all they can to ensure those leaving prison are equipped with the skills and tools they need to be successful upon release." 

Getting Things Done 

As a former prosecutor, public safety is a core issue for Governor Whitmer. She has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations to bring down crime and ensure people feel safe whether they're going to work, picking up their kids from school, or grabbing groceries. Through her time in office, Governor Whitmer has enacted historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan "Clean Slate" laws which will help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with enhanced opportunities for jobs and housing and allow them to pursue their full potential. She also launched task forces to address pretrial incarceration and juvenile justice and pursued reforms to improve relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve. 

Key Numbers 

  • Proposed $75 million MI Safe Communities framework that would utilize federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to reduce crime and keep families safe by tackling the court backlog, expanding resources available to law enforcement, and uplifting communities by making investments in jobs programs, counseling, and education. 
  • Delivered $40 million in COVID hazard pay for local officers and first-responders and over $10 million premium pay for MSP troopers. 
  • Signed Clean Slate bills to make hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, including 80,000 Detroiters, eligible to have their records expunged, expanding their opportunities for jobs and housing, and invested millions of dollars to assist returning citizens with expungement.  
  • Signed budget bills delivering $1.4 billion to local governments to help them fund local police, fire departments, and emergency medical services. 
  • The budget will also allow the MDOC to hire 800 new corrections officers this fiscal year. 
  • Created a new partnership between the Secretary of State and MDOC that has already led to more than 5,000 returning citizens to have a state ID or driver's license in-hand when they parole. 

Looking Ahead 

  • Getting the MI Safe Communities plan across the finish line 
  • Making stronger investments to keep our students safe 
  • Working with our business community to create employment opportunities in historically underinvested communities  

"The MI Safe Communities plan, with its emphasis on direct funding in the areas of public safety, jobs, counseling, and education, will provide the equity that is needed to bring hope, healing, and wholeness to our community," said Rev. Dr. Daniel Moore, Sr., DMin, Pastor of The Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Flint

"In Marquette County alone, we are dealing with hundreds of backlogged felony cases due to our inability to hold jury trials during the height of the pandemic," said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese. "Directing funding at this problem will help reduce crime and keep victims of crime safe by addressing not only our backlog, but also the backlog of criminal cases being experienced across the State of Michigan." 

Additional public safety and criminal justice accomplishments can be found here.