MCCD’s Youth Justice Division
MCCD’s Restoring Kids, Transforming Communities framework is a multi-pronged approach focused on promoting a culture that treats kids as kids – based on their development, in the community, with their families. There are nearly 35,000 juvenile delinquency cases processed in Michigan each year, most of which are for non-violent behaviors. Unfortunately, current policies are based on flawed ‘get tough’ approaches that are now proven to do more harm than good. We believe that restoring childhood means preventing justice involvement, protecting the rights of youth in conflict with the law, providing developmentally appropriate community-based services, and prohibiting the prosecution of youth in the adult criminal justice system. It’s time to stop criminalizing kids and, instead, address their unique needs based on their age, development, culture, and family circumstances. If we do so, we can reduce trauma, strengthen families, improve life outcomes, and increase community safety.
The RKTC Campaign includes these ongoing projects: the Michigan Juvenile Justice Reinvestment project, an effort to increase resources towards community-based programming and away from youth incarceration; leadership of Youth Behind Bars, a campaign to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18 and remove youth from adult prisons; and Restoring Kids; Restoring Communities: Transforming Michigan's Approach to Youth Diversion, a statewide effort that aims to remove institutional barriers that draw and keep youth in the justice system by promoting youth well-being, diversion and restorative justice techniques in schools, courts, and law enforcement agencies across the state.