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May 23, 2023

Contact: [email protected]


Lt. Gov. Gilchrist Kicks Off First Meeting of Juvenile Justice Advisory Council


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II kicked off the first meeting of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, which will inform Michigan’s juvenile justice reform efforts through the lived experiences of those who were impacted by the system. The Advisory Council was established within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) after a unanimous recommendation from the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform.


“We are committed to centering the lived experiences of those who have been impacted by the juvenile justice system as we address complex challenges faced by thousands of young Michiganders each year,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The individuals on this council can help shine a light on where improvements must be made, as we work to better serve young Michiganders and lead the nation on justice issues.”


 “Our goal is a juvenile justice system that is more effective, more transparent, more consistent, and more data driven, where decision-making is evidence-based and laser-focused on positive outcomes for every youth,” said Chief Justice Elizabeth T. Clement. “This advisory group, and especially the members who have experienced the system, will help policy makers better understand what works and what doesn’t, so that Michigan can achieve those goals and make a positive difference in the lives of young people statewide.”


“By sharing their lived experiences with us, our advisory council members will give us an irreplaceable perspective to inform our juvenile justice reform efforts,” said Suzanna Shkreli, who was named MDHHS’ Director of Juvenile Justice Reform in March. “Under Director Elizabeth Hertel’s leadership, MDHHS is tackling the systemic and persistent issues within the juvenile justice system to ensure that youth have the support, resources, and opportunity to safely return to their communities and thrive.”


The Juvenile Justice Advisory Council was established to work to improve the juvenile justice system through review of and changes to department policy and practices; provide support to prior and current juvenile justice youth, adults, and their families; and to share their experiences and suggestions for how the system can be improved. Initial focuses will include job training and skill development, consultation and implementation of juvenile justice policy, and improvements to residential facilities. Council members will serve two-year terms.


Advisory Committee Members

Mr. Michael Davis-Thomas

Ms. Pura Strong

Ms. Sandra Medina

Ms. Neveah Fisher

Mr. Antwon Jackson


The Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform was composed of leaders from across branches of government, state and local agencies, those working in and impacted by the system, and other stakeholders, and was facilitated by The Council of State Governments Justice Center. To learn more about the recommendations, please visit https://michigancommitteeonjuvenilejustice.com/jj-reform-task-force/.