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Gov. Whitmer announces Jobs Court proposal

Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 16:16:16-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new proposal, jobs court, to help employ Michiganders accused of low-level and nonviolent offenses.

The proposal was released on Nov. 3, 2021, at the Goodwill Flip the Script North End Career Center in tandem with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and other community members.

Jobs Court is part of the MI Safe Communities framework laid out by Whitmer in August and would serve as a pilot program to employ up to 450 eligible defendants in Wayne, Genesee, and Marquette Counties according to the Michigan Department of the Attorney General.

“Jobs Court is an innovate program that checks all of the boxes: it’s smart on crime, reduces the burden on our criminal justice system, puts offenders on a permanent path to success, helps our local businesses, and makes our communities safer,” AG Nessel said. “I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for including my proposal as part of her MI Safe Communities framework and I look forward to working with the Legislature and our local law enforcement partners on this groundbreaking new initiative.”

Participants in the proposal would be matched with employers to jobs with benefits, opportunities, and training to learn transferable career skills.

“Today’s announcement is an important step forward in our efforts to reform Michigan’s criminal justice system,” Gilchrist said. “Jobs are the key to success, and Jobs Court will support eligible Michiganders by connecting them with good-paying jobs, benefits, and the social services assistance they need to support themselves and their families. With today’s proposal, we are addressing a root cause of public safety issues while also providing life-changing paths to employment in the state.”

“The Jobs Court proposal we unveiled today will make a crucial difference for Michiganders, their families, and communities,” Whitmer said. “Jobs Court will help address the backlog in our court system, fill job openings across the state, grow our economy, and connect those in need with critical resources. I’m thankful for the hard work of Attorney General Nessel in putting this proposal together and look forward to working with the legislature to get it done.”

Participants would also have access to wraparound social services, such as mental healthcare, transportation to and from work, and access to a social worker.

Additionally, participants would be monitored for one year and be required to maintain frequent and open lines of communication with the employer and wraparound services from the state of Michigan.

Prosecutors will have the option to dismiss charges against Jobs Court participants who complete the program.

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