Through collaborative partnerships, MCYJ successfully advocated for legislation that aims to eliminate the majority of juvenile court debt. We engaged legislators through impactful legislative advocacy days and utilized various media channels to raise awareness about the detrimental impact of this issue, promoting evidence-based narratives to underscore the urgent need to reform Michigan’s juvenile court debt policies and practices.
As part of our advocacy efforts, MCYJ released a guidebook in 2022 titled "Debt Free Justice for Court-Involved Youth and Their Families: A Do It Yourself Guidebook for Michigan Juvenile Courts." This guidebook resulted from our partnership with Macomb County in 2021 to analyze the assessment and collection of juvenile court debt. Although the legislation did not receive a hearing in the legislature, we are optimistic about future reform due to our ongoing efforts and partnerships.