Michigan Joint Task Force meeting

The Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration meeting on Thursday, January 9, 2019.

Michigan's Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration will deliver its final report to the Michigan legislature on Friday after holding its final meeting Thursday.

The task force voted 20-0-1 at Thursday's meeting to deliver the report, which will not be publicly released until Tuesday.

The next phase is to work with the legislature directly to ensure the recommendations can become law, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said.

“Our goal is to ensure that people are treated with dignity, humanity and respect,” Gilchrist said. “[So] That people have services they need to be their best selves and to be successful in Michigan.”

Gilchrist said that people who make mistakes and poor choices will be held accountable but also put on a path to atone for mistakes.

Attorney General Dana Nessel abstained from voting, citing her duty “to look at criminal justice reform with a 360-degree view and to strike an appropriate balance between the impact of incarceration on offenders, effective reforms on the victims of crime, and the cost of those reforms to communities around the state.”

Nessel said several of the recommendations didn’t strike that balance regarding the impact of crimes on victims, addiction and mental health.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack said the policies aimed to reach accountability, treat mental health and substance abuse to reduce reoffending, and to give a voice to survivors of crimes.

“We knew with the diverse people assembled around this table, we could find ways to make Michigan’s communities safer, stronger and healthier,” McCormack said.

Lt. Jim Miller of the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department said the recommendations span the entire criminal justice process.

“This bipartisan group came up with a work product that I think corrects issues that people in the law enforcement field have been thinking about since the beginning of my career over 20 years ago,” Miller said, adding that the recommendations range from dispatch to disposition to keep people out of jail who don’t need to be there.

The task force will remain active until September 2020 to ensure the best versions of the recommendations are adopted, Gilchrist said.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.