African Americans constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 40 percent of U.S. prisoners. Black males are jailed at a rate of more than 6.5 times that of white males.

In order to address the problem of over-incarceration, the ACLU of Michigan worked with Wayne County judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys to establish a restorative justice program for the Wayne County criminal courts. Restorative justice is an effective alternative to incarceration that provides opportunities for offenders and victims to learn from each other, to acknowledge the seriousness of the offenses that have been committed, and to participate in a process of repairing damage and restoring relationships.

The program was formally launched as a pilot project in June 2014. Youthful offenders who are charged with auto theft are currently eligible to participate.

(ACLU Attorney Mark Fancher; Jeffrey Edison of the National Conference of Black Lawyers-Michigan Chapter.)

To view the full 2014-2015 Legal Docket, click here.