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October 2023: 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; 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, on July 18th, 2022, the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform approved a comprehensive set of consensus-based recommendations to transform Michigan’s juvenile justice system. The approved recommendations establish a statewide blueprint for aligning policies and practices across the juvenile justice continuum with research and best practice and must now be translated into legislation, administrative, court rule, and other policy changes;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2023 as Youth Justice Action Month in Michigan.