LANSING, – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced last week several appointments to the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, citing a need for meaningful reform in Michigan’s current criminal justice system as the main reason.
“The number of people in local jails has tripled over the last 35 years, but crime rates in Michigan are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years,” Whitmer said. “This task force is an opportunity to see how we can make the system better for the people of our state and make Michigan an example for the country on jail and pretrial reform.”
Those appointed are listed below with each term set until Sept. 30, 2020:
– Amanda Alexander, of Detroit, is the founding executive director of Detroit Justice Center.
– Jerry Clayton, of Ann Arbor, is the Sheriff of Washtenaw County.
– Craig DeRoche, of Novi, is the Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Public Policy at Prison Fellowship and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
– William Gutzwiller, Sr., of Essexville, is the Director of Public Safety for the City of Essexville.
– Dale “DJ” Hilson, of Muskegon, is the Muskegon County Prosecutor.
– Monica Jahner, of Lansing, is the Advocacy, Reentry, Resources and Outreach program manager and legislative advocate at Northwest Initiative, a Lansing grassroots organization to eliminate barriers for returning citizens.
– Sheryl Kubiak, Ph.D., of Milford, is the Dean of Social Work at Wayne State University.
– Jim Miller, of Allegan, is a Lieutenant and jail administrator for the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.
– Takura Nyamfukudza, of Lansing, is a criminal defense attorney with Chartier & Nyamfukudza PLC and a veteran of the United States Army National Guard.
– Bill Peterson, of Alpena, is an Alpena County Commissioner.
– James R. Talen, of Grand Rapids, is a Kent County Commissioner.
– Robert VerHeulen, of Walker, is a Kent County Road Commissioner.
In addition to Gov. Whitmer’s appointments, the following representatives of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government will serve on the Task Force:
– Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II will represent the executive branch of state government.
– Attorney General Dana Nessel will represent the executive branch of state government.
– Chief Justice Bridget McCormack of the Michigan Supreme Court will represent the judicial branch of state government.
– Judge Prentis Edwards, Jr. of the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County is designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
– Judge Thomas P. Boyd of the 55th District Court of Ingham County is designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
– Sen. Jim Runestad of the 15th Senate District is designated by the Senate Majority Leader.
– Sen. Sylvia Santana of the 3rd Senate District is designated by the Senate Minority Leader.
– State Rep. Mike Mueller of the 51st House District is designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
– State Rep. Tenisha Yancey of the 1st House District is designated by the House Minority Leader.
The Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are designated as co-chairpersons of the Task Force.
The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration was established by Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2019-10. The Task Force acts in an advisory capacity with the goal of developing ambitious, innovative and thorough recommendations for changes in state law, policy and appropriations to expand alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Michigan’s justice systems.
These appointments are not subject to advice and consent of the Senate.