Michigan is in compliance with federal guidelines for the four core requirements of the U.S. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, Public Policy Associates Inc. (PPA) Project Manager Robert Burroughs announced. Mr. Burroughs is the contracted compliance manager for the state of Michigan.
PPA has been retained by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for the past 11 years to develop, implement, and analyze the state’s strategy for complying with the requirements. The federal government has found Michigan to be in compliance each year.
“It is rewarding to see that Michigan has been in compliance each year,” Mr. Burroughs said. “The federal government’s finding recognizes Michigan’s commitment to treating juveniles in the justice system appropriately. Compliance also ensures that Michigan gets its full share of federal funding for oversight, prevention, and intervention activities.”
The core requirements are that:
- Status offenders not be held in secure detention or confinement.
- Confined youth are separated by sight and sound from adult inmates.
- Youth may not be detained in adult jails or lockups.
- States must assess and address Disproportionate Minority Contact, which is the overrepresentation of youth of color at key contact points in the juvenile justice system.
PPA collects data, provides training, and offers technical assistance to the state. It guides the work of the Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, which advises the governor and awards grants to support effective juvenile justice programs and policies.
The work includes efforts to reduce Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), which is the overrepresentation of children of color in the juvenile justice system. Dr. Paul Elam, president of PPA, is the state’s contracted DMC coordinator.
“PPA has provided technical assistance and training in every urban community, working with judges, sheriffs, educators, faith-based organizations, and others to create systems that treat all youth fairly and equitably,” said Dr. Elam, who specializes in juvenile justice. PPA most recently began working with Kent County leaders to reduce DMC.