Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.
Justice for Kids and Communities Package Passes House
Last week, half of the Justice for Kids and Communities bill package, House Bills 4624–4643, passed the House of Representatives; the bills currently await a vote in the Senate. The Senate bills in the package, Senate Bills 418–437, await a vote in the House. I expect this legislation to be signed into law before session adjourns for the year.
This legislation will transform Michigan’s juvenile justice system by bolstering community safety, reducing disparities, and improving outcomes for kids and their families. More specifically, the bills will:
- Establish best practices and minimum funding for juvenile justice.
- Provide for appointed counsel for kids.
- Require a closer look at each child’s suitability for diversion programs by creating specific factors for courts to consider.
- Strengthen and expand the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman for handling, investigating and reporting incidents in juvenile detention facilities.
These changes are based on recommendations from the governor’s 2021 bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force. They will be definite improvements, and they are needed to ensure that Michigan’s kids and their families have a constructive experience with juvenile justice.
Cooley Law School, Safe and Just Michigan to Host Expungement Fair
Cooley Law School and Safe and Just Michigan are hosting an expungement fair on Friday, Oct. 27, from noon to 5 p.m., at Cooley Law School (300 S. Capitol Ave. in Lansing). Those who want to participate in this event must fill out a screening form here.
Expungement removes arrests and convictions from a person’s public criminal record. Criminal offenses that have been expunged are no longer accessible to employers or landlords. Michigan law has always allowed for expungements, but the Clean Slate legislation enacted in 2020 made more individuals and offenses eligible for expungement.
Under Michigan’s “Clean Slate” expungement laws, individuals with up to three felonies and unlimited misdemeanors can have their records expunged. Note that on April 11, Michigan’s automatic expungement mandate went into effect, which allows for certain convictions to be expunged without an application. Find out more about Michigan’s new expungement laws here. If you are interested in pursuing expungement but are unable to attend the fair, you can fill out Legal Services of South Central Michigan’s Expungement Intake Application.
If you are an attorney or law student who would like to volunteer for this event, please fill out this form.
Rep. Hope to Host Community Violence Intervention Town Hall in November
I am hosting a town hall on Community Violence Intervention from 6-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing (5509 S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Lansing).
Panelists and special guests include Mike McKissic with the Mikey23 Foundation; Lansing Superintendent Ben Shuldiner; Lansing Schools’ Executive Director of Student Culture and Climate Cordelia Black; and Firearm Safety and Gun Violence Prevention Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Christine Morse. Community members are welcome to share their questions and concerns during this event.
Rep. Hope and AG Nessel Host Senior Scam Event in November
Special Guest Attorney General Dana Nessel and I will host a senior scam event on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at Sam Corey Senior Center (2108 Cedar St. in Holt). The Michigan Department of Attorney General will provide helpful information to protect seniors who are often targeted by scam artists.