Smart Justice in Michigan

April 18, 2018 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Detroit Beer Co.

1529 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226

The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system. ACLU staff members Jessica Ayoub and Heather Garretson will join as our keynote speakers to discuss how the ACLU is working in all 50 states for reforms to usher in a new era of justice in America. In collaboration with community partners, and with dedicated volunteers, the goal is to make the justice system more just. Currently, focused on these three areas, the Campaign for Smart Justice is fighting in the legislatures, the courts, and in the streets to end mass incarceration:

Bail Reform: Unjust and for-profit bail systems needlessly lock up millions of people who haven’t been convicted of a crime just because they can’t afford to pay bail. This harmful system strips people of their rights, targets poor people and people of color, and hurts families and communities.

Prosecutorial Reform: Prosecutors’ decisions have the single greatest impact on people in the criminal justice system. The ACLU is educating communities about the role of prosecutors, what actually keeps communities safe, and how elected prosecutors can act in the best interest of their constituents.

Parole Reform: Hundreds of thousands of people—including those convicted of violent and non-violent crimes—stay in prison for too long because of broken parole and release systems. By expanding evidence-based opportunities for release, they are working to ensure systems are fair, respect people’s rights, and promote safety and success for those returning to their communities.

This event is your chance to discuss how we can get smart justice for our state. Join us for this discussion and evening to meet and network with other young professionals from across Michigan. Doors Open at 6:00 pm. Remarks at 6:30 pm. As always, we will have lots of food and your first drink is on us.

Check out the full bios of our speakers:

Jessica Ayoub is the Public Engagement Strategist at the ACLU of Michigan where she is responsible for overseeing the implementation and execution of the organization’s volunteer efforts, with particular attention paid to both Voting Rights and the Campaign for Smart Justice. Prior to her work at the ACLU-MI, she worked at a metro Detroit food rescue organization doing community engagement work. She holds a Masters of Social Work Degree in Community Organization and Social Policy & Evaluation from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Heather Garretson is an experienced litigator and former law professor whose professional background gives her a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and its impact. She is the ACLU of Michigan’s Smart Justice Campaign Coordinator. As a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s office in Kansas City, Heather prosecuted federal narcotics cases and argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Following her work with the U.S. Attorney’s office, she practiced white-collar criminal defense then moved into academia. As a Scholar in Residence at CUNY Law School in New York, Heather published her research on legislation aimed at reducing barriers for people with criminal records. She sits on the Michigan State Bar’s Criminal Issues Initiative and is a Michigan State Bar Fellow.