Action Teams

Interested in joining an Action Team?

Please email your name, contact information and Action Team preference to jjvision2020@gvsu.edu

Action Team 1: Unique Purpose of the Juvenile Court

Preserving and advancing the unique purpose and functions of the juvenile court is a high priority for Michigan's juvenile justice leaders. Both are needed in the future to ensure Michigan's juvenile justice system is able to provide rehabilitative and restorative services to help juveniles succeed while holding them accountable and protecting the public.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Completed the Core Tenets Briefing Book
  • Identified and worked with juvenile justice friendly legislators
  • Monitored and influenced legislative issues in collaboration with other organizations

2015 Priority Projects

  • Educate legislators and judges about juvenile justice issues and Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20
  • Develop a Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20 newsletter
  • Complete an educational video/Public Service Announcement to increase awareness of juvenile justice

Action Team Co-Chairs

Linda Edwards Brown, Washtenaw County Trial Courts

Kelly Ruffing, Innovation For Good, Inc.


Action Team 2: Effective Outcomes for Juveniles, Families, and Communities

Juvenile courts across the state are committed to achieving effective outcomes for juveniles, families, and communities.  Achieving effective outcomes, in part, is the ultimate quality measure of juvenile services.  Achieving effective outcomes is dependent on many factors.  They include:

  1. Having a continuum of services available to meet the complex needs of juveniles and families.
  2. Using a holistic and individualized approach to assessing and treating juveniles and families.
  3. Involving families and caretakers.
  4. Assessing risks and using other tools to make decisions and hold juveniles accountable.
  5. Using evidence-based practices and other research findings to treat juveniles.
  6. Collecting and analyzing data and measuring outcomes.
  7. Collaborating effectively with other justice system and community partners.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Completed and distributed JJV 20/20's guidebook:  "Michigan Juvenile Offender Risk Assessment Survey Report"
  • Completed training on Risk Assessment for Michigan Referees Association
  • Provided informal consultation to jurisdictions regarding risk assessment selection and implementation

2015 Priority Projects

  • Formalize the consultation process for jurisdictions on risk assessment choice and implementation
  • Deliver trainings on the juvenile justice risk assessments
  • Develop a guidebook on juvenile justice continuums of care n Michigan jurisdictions

Action Team Co-Chairs

Derek Hitchcock, Highfields, Inc.

Michele Bell, 42nd Circuit Court, Midland County


Action Team 3: Juvenile Court Operational Performance

The juvenile justice system also will be strengthened if juvenile courts speak with one voice about needs and priorities, increase consistency and uniformity across courts and countries, collect and use operational data to improve performance and effectiveness, and demonstrate the prudent use of resources and outcomes achieved.  Technological improvement, more systems coordination, and more community collaboration also are needed to enhance performance.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Secured grant funding through the State Justice Institute and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to work on a Multi-Jurisdictional Juvenile Justice Data Sharing Project.  This project leverages national resources and a partnership with the state of Ohio to work with 5 pilot sites and implement a juvenile justice data sharing model.

2015 Priority Projects

  • Continue work on the Multi-Jurisdictional Juvenile Justice Data Sharing Project, funding through the State Justice Institute (SJI) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)
    • Complete all requirements/tasks of the BJA and SJI grants
    • Finalize the data sharing model and implement in the 5 pilot sites
    • Finalize the data dictionary and data improvement plan
  • Define juvenile court performance measures in collaboration with the State Court Administrative Office

Action Team Co-Chairs

Sandi Metcalf, 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County


Action Team 4: Adequate and Sustainable Funding

The juvenile justice system needs adequate and sustainable funding and resources to be able to administer fair and equal justice, provide individualized , comprehensive, and effective programs for delinquent youth, and ensure accountability that builds safe, resilient communities.  Assuring the efficient and effective use of resources, implementing cost saving measures, securing adequate and sustainable funding are a high priority in the future.  Juvenile justice leaders are committed to developing innovative and effective ways to better use existing funds and securing future funding to provide needed services, ultimately strengthening the juvenile justice system throughout the state.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Worked with Department of Health and Human Services groups on Child Care Fund Reengineering
  • Completed a Funding Briefing Book
  • Advocated for the In-Home Care Incentive, which supported the $1M for rural counties to develop community-based services

2015 Priority Projects

  • Continue to work with DHHS on Child Care Funding Reengineering Task Force and other issues that impact funding
  • Participate on the statewide workgroup designed to look at a definition for recidivism

Action Team Co-Chairs

John Evans, 44th Circuit Court, Livingston County

Bob Nida, Barry County Trial Courts (Retired)

Sandi Metcalf, 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County


Action Team 5: Strong Juvenile Justice Workforce

The success of Michigan's juvenile justice system is dependent in part on the strength of its workforce and the quality of the work environment.  A competent, motivated, and satisfied workforce and supportive work environment are essential for ensuring excellent court performance and achieving effective outcomes.  Thus, strengthening the workforce and work environment are a high priority.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Completed a training needs assessment and professional development position paper
  • Developed a training curriculum and prioritized state agenda
  • Hosted a statewide training conference in August 2013 at Grand Valley State University

2015 Priority Projects

  • Make CEU's available at all JJV 20/20 sponsored trainings in 2015
  • Host two JJV 20/20 sponsored trainings in 2015 (spring and summer)
  • Survey juvenile justice professionals, statewide, to assess training needs and priorities

Action Team Co-Chairs

Kathy Bailey, School of Criminal Justice, Grand Valley State University

Kevin Bowling, 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County

Laura Marsh, 17th Circuit Court, Kent County



Page last modified December 8, 2015