Executive Order signed to create Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council
The bipartisan council will work to implement changes and goals laid out by the Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.
LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2021-5 Wednesday, creating the Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council.
“The Jail Reform Advisory Council will play a critical role in implementing long overdue reforms to our justice system,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan will continue to lead the way as we take tangible steps to reform our justice system, and I know that the bipartisan work of this council will make our communities and state safer, save taxpayer dollars, and help us achieve the goals laid out by the Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.”
“This council will do critical work to implement the recommendations of last year’s Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration that I was proud to co-chair,” said Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist. “Together, we can make substantive, lasting changes to our justice system that make us all safer and help us live up to our highest ideals.”
In April 2019, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order No. 2019-10 creating the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. The Task Force issued its final report and recommendations in January of 2020 and found significant growth in county jail populations, costing taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars annually. Jail populations have been driven equally by pretrial and post-conviction incarceration, with limited guidance in state law on the preferred or presumed intervention.
The Task Force recommended extensive state policy changes related to traffic violations, arrests, behavioral health diversion, pretrial release and detention, speedy trials, sentencing, probation and parole, financial barriers for system-involved individuals, victim services, and data collection.
The Michigan Legislature passed many of the Task Force recommendations with bipartisan support in December of 2020, which were signed into law by Governor Whitmer on January 4, 2021. Executive Order No. 2021-5 creates the Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council as an advisory body within the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. This new Council will facilitate, assist with, monitor, and evaluate the successful implementation of jail reform legislation throughout the state of Michigan.
“Thanks to the data-driven, bipartisan work of the Jail and Pretrial Incarceration Task Force, Michigan is a national leader in reforming our criminal justice system to be more fair, effective, transparent, and accountable,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “The council will support the implementation of these pioneering improvements, making sure the vision of a justice system that makes us all safer and stronger that inspired us becomes reality.”
The Council will include Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack who will serve as Chair, Robyn Liddell serving as designee of Attorney General Dana Nessel, Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington, Capt. Dale Hinz serving as designee of Col. Joe Gasper of the Michigan State Police, Melissa Smiley serving as designee of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Deb Cain serving as designee of Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel.
The Governor appointed the following members of the Council:
- Jerry L. Clayton, Sr., of Ypsilanti, is the sheriff for Washtenaw County. He is a certified criminal justice trainer and instructor, and a graduate of the Eastern Michigan University School of Staff and Command. Sheriff Clayton is appointed to represent a county sheriff or jail administrator for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- Barbara Hankey, of Holly, is the manager of the Oakland County Community Corrections Division. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. Ms. Hankey is appointed to represent community corrections or pretrial services for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- D.J. Hilson, of Muskegon, is the prosecuting attorney for Muskegon County. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Economics from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Hilson is appointed to represent a county prosecutor for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- Takura N. Nyamfukudza, of Lansing, is a litigator and partner with Chartier & Nyamfukudza, PLC. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Nyamfukudza is appointed to represent an individual who is a public defender or criminal defense attorney for indigent clients for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- Bill Peterson, of Alpena, is a commissioner with Alpena County. He is also the owner and operator of Twin Acres 19th Hole restaurant. Commissioner Peterson is appointed to represent a member of a board of county commissioners for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., of Ann Arbor, is the chief medical officer for the Oakland Community Health Network and medical director of NorthCare Network. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Doctor of Medicine from Tufts University. Dr. Pozios is appointed to represent a community mental health employee for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
- William Riley, III, of Dearborn Heights, is the chief of police for the City of Inkster Police Department. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Saint Paul’s College. Chief Riley is appointed to represent a police chief for a term commencing April 21, 2021 and expiring March 31, 2023.
The Council will include participation from Judge Prentis Edwards of the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County and Judge Carrie Lynn Fuca of the 41B District Court of Clinton Township who are designated by Chief Justice McCormack, Sen. Jim Runestad nominated by the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Sylvia Santana nominated by the Senate Minority Leader, Rep. Mike Mueller nominated by the Speaker of the House, and Rep. Tenisha Yancey nominated by the House Minority Leader.
Appointees will serve until the council dissolves on March 31, 2023. These appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
To view the full executive order, click here.
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