Criminal Justice Policy Initiative

The Criminal Justice Policy Initiative is dedicated to producing high quality research and timely analysis of criminal justice policy issues in Michigan. The Initiative examines the three major criminal justice institutions — law enforcement agencies, the court system, and the corrections department — to help stakeholders make sound decisions about public safety.

This work would not be possible without our generous donors. For information about the Mackinac Center and our benefits please visit our membership page.

Latest Articles

Three Criminal Justice Proposals before the Michigan House this Week

Here are a handful of bills that are being considered in or advanced out of committee … more

Is it Constitutional to Require Criminal Defendants to Fund Their Own Prosecution?

State Supreme Court considers whether to hear a case presenting this question … more

Democratic Attorney General Candidates Favor Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

Bipartisan support for protecting property rights and due process … more

Bipartisanship on Criminal Justice Reform Continues to Grow

Common ground needed to overcome current shortcomings of justice system … more

Raising the Age: Should 17-Year-Olds be Eligible for Juvenile Justice in Michigan?

Michigan is one of five states where 17-year-olds are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, rather than the juvenile justice system. Following a trend in several other states, some Michigan stakeholders have begun a “raise the age” campaign to adjust the age of adult criminal liability to 18, the age of majority for all other purposes. The Legislature introduced bills to that effect last year, but opponents of the campaign warn that shifting 17-year-olds into the juvenile system will be an expensive burden on resource-strapped counties. Reformers counter that the move will ensure better outcomes for teens in the long run. Join us to hear expert panelists discuss the costs and benefits of raising the age. … more

ACLU and Mackinac Center Call on Legislature to Require a Conviction Before Police Can Keep Property

Report shows forfeiture in Michigan typically involves small amounts of money, property taken from people never convicted of a crime … more

Meet Some Law Enforcement Officers Who Support Forfeiture Reform

Michigan Legislature should strengthen property rights … more

The (Un)Virtuous Cycle

Criminal Justice Reform = Workforce Development = Job Creation … more

Crime Shouldn’t Pay, but Requiring Reimbursement May Not Pay Off

Harsher penalties are not as effective at deterring crime as increasing the risk of getting caught … more