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Jail And Justice System Reforms Take Center Stage At Traverse City Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 26, 2019 Contact: Mike Kent – 231-492-4158 or Mike@MikeKentCommunications.com

Jail And Justice System Reforms Take Center Stage At Traverse City Forum

Traverse City, Mich. — Reforming the local jail and justice system will be at the core of a community forum taking place next week in Traverse City. Topics such as changes in the local jail, successes and failures in diverting people from jail who need mental health or addiction treatment, the challenges of probation, the effects of incarceration on families and the community, are all topics expected to be raised during the community event. The forum called: “Incarceration – Injustice v Justice, Punishment or Restoration,” will be held at Central United Methodist Church from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on October 3rd.

Organizers expect a lively discussion that will include input from legal advisers, mental health advocates and from people who have profound personal stories of incarceration.

Before During After Incarceration (BDAI) and the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is organizing the community event.

“There isn’t a better time to begin to look at reforms in the criminal justice system,” says BDAI member Tom Bousamra (Boo-sahm-rah). “Not only are jail issues being discussed in national political campaigns, we’re also seeing a strong need to address injustices that are taking place locally and throughout northern Michigan.”

Bousamra says a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trust shows a greater acceptance of finding jail alternatives for people who are charged with minor crimes and not yet gone to trial.

“We must take a hard look at what we are doing to incarcerated people and their families,” says BDAI Vice President Toni Stanfield. “The system more often than not, sets those people up for failure. We need to discuss ways to divert people suffering with mental health and substance use disorders from jail to treatment.”

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served after the program. “We’re hoping this event can kick start desperately needed reforms in the local criminal justice system,” says Bousamra. More information is available at: http://www.BDAIConnect.org or on Facebook at: BDAI Help For Incarcerated.

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The highlight of my recent intensive course in Restorative Justice at Loyola University in Chicago was a visit to Cook County Jail. Serving the greater Chicago area and currently averaging 6,100 incar

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