A free virtual event on Feb. 4; RSVP now

Hi Reader,

Last summer, ProPublica, the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Michigan co-published the story of Grace (her middle name, used to protect her identity), a 15-year-old girl who had been sent to a detention center in suburban Detroit. Her offense: failing to complete online schoolwork. Our reporting spurred calls from politicians for her release and a #FreeGrace social media campaign. Less than three weeks after we broke news of the case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her release.

But there was more to the story. A recent ProPublica analysis of Michigan’s juvenile justice system found that judges routinely lock children up for noncriminal offenses like disobeying their parents or skipping school.

Please join us for a live virtual event:

The Flawed Juvenile Justice System That Sparked a National Outrage
Thursday, Feb. 4 | 7 - 8:30 p.m. EST

Register Here

Moderated by ProPublica reporter Jodi S. Cohen, the event will feature panel discussions with Grace, local experts, elected officials, judges, prosecutors and journalists to explore the problems with Michigan’s juvenile justice system and potential paths to reform. We’ll also address your questions.

Other speakers include:

  • Elizabeth T. Clement, Michigan Supreme Court justice
  • Duaa Eldeib, ProPublica reporter
  • Sylvia Santana, Michigan state senator
  • Eli Savit, Washtenaw County prosecutor
  • Jason Smith, executive director of Michigan Center for Youth Justice
  • Frank Vandervort, University of Michigan Law School professor

As our investigation revealed, Michigan ranks fourth in the nation — trailing only the much more populous states of California, Texas and Florida — in the number of minors held for noncriminal technical violations. What’s more, with no statewide coordination and little oversight, the state doesn’t know how many juveniles are in custody or what happens once they’re in the system.

Hope you can join us,

Cynthia Gordy Giwa
Proud ProPublican

Supported by McKinsey and Company
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