For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Contact on behalf of Alliance for Safety and Justice: [email protected]
ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE APPLAUDS WHITMER ADMINISTRATION’S “JOBS COURT” INITIATIVE AS BOOST TO PUBLIC SAFETY THROUGH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Pilot Program Will Match 550 Michiganders Accused of Low Level Offenses with Employment and Support Services to Reduce Recidivism, Strengthen Workforce
Lansing, MI – On Thursday, the Alliance for Safety and Justice applauded the announcement of a new initiative by the Whitmer administration to divert eligible people accused of low-level offenses into jobs, in order to reduce recidivism and help strengthen the state’s workforce. Developed as part of Governor Whitmer’s MI Safe Communities Initiative, the “Jobs Court” program will address the workforce shortage of state businesses, while providing wrap-around support (mental health, employment transportation, social worker, etc.) that address people’s underlying challenges which can contribute to recidivism. The “Jobs Court” will also monitor participants for one year and require them to maintain communication with the state to ensure accountability and compliance.
“Strengthening Michigan’s workforce is an investment in making Michigan safer,” said Lenore Anderson, president of Alliance for Safety and Justice, and a former assistant district attorney. “Governor Whitmer’s Jobs Court initiative will help ensure people get back on track through employment that reduces recidivism and strengthens communities. The Whitmer administration should be applauded for their continued leadership and this new partnership with Michigan employers to improve public safety through workforce development.”
Research shows that when someone who has been involved in the justice system gains stable full-time employment, they are far less likely to end up returning to the system. Evaluations of one such diversion model (LEAD) being replicated in cities revealed significant positive outcomes towards both reducing recidivism and increasing employment stability. “Job Court” would help set people in need up for success before they ever step foot in a prison, saving Michigan money and keeping families together.
“By ensuring people enter the workforce rather than the criminal justice system, Michigan can help make its communities safer and stronger,” said Qiana Wimbley, a Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice member in Detroit, Michigan. “The Whitmer administration’s ‘Jobs Court’ is a smart approach to reduce recidivism and stop cycles of crime.”
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a multi-state advocacy organization that aims to replace ineffective criminal justice system policies with what works to keep people safe. It partners with leaders to advance state reform through networking, coalition building, research, education, and advocacy. ASJ brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 70,000 crime survivors with thousands of members in Michigan. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.