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October 2021: Youth Justice Action Month

WHEREAS, a growing body of research has enabled policymakers and practitioners to better understand what works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system; and


WHEREAS, Michigan has made improvements to the juvenile justice system in recent years that can serve as a foundation to build on for continued reform; and


WHEREAS, Michigan still detains youth at one of the highest rates in the country, including for non-criminal behaviors; and


WHEREAS, youth of color, youth with disabilities, and youth with behavioral health issues are disproportionately represented in all parts of the juvenile justice system continuum; and


WHEREAS, elected leaders in Michigan are committed to transparency, good government, and alignment with more research-based approaches to juvenile justice; and


WHEREAS, the voices and experiences of youth, families, and communities most impacted by the juvenile justice system are critical to achieving meaningful improvement; and


WHEREAS, in Executive Order 2021-6 Michigan established the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform, a partnership between state and local leaders with diverse representation, to lead a data-driven assessment of the juvenile justice system to identify and recommend strategies and solutions grounded in research that will improve youth outcomes; and


WHEREAS, the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform will engage in listening sessions, focus groups, and town halls with youth, families, and communities to inform the assessment and development of recommendations; and


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2021 as Youth Justice Action Month in Michigan.