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Criminal Issues Initiative

This is the fourth initiative of the Committee on Justice Initiatives. It resulted from the work of dedicated individuals on the Criminal Issues Workgroup who issued their final report in March 2006. The initiative began its work on October 30, 2006. The dual purposes of this initiative are to address issues of indigent criminal defense in Michigan and to educate the legal community on civil collateral consequences. Criminal Issues Initiative Roster PDF

To be directed to the Michigan Reentry Resources webpage, which contains information on civil legal issues facing people with criminal records, please visit

At the Annual Meeting

    Cosponsored by the Criminal Law Section, Prisons & Corrections Section, and Criminal Issues Initiative

    Friday, September 19, 2014
    Noon-1:30 p.m.
    DeVos Place, Grand Rapids
    While there is no fee to attend, registration is requested to allow for proper facilities planning. Register as part of the Annual Meeting.

    Sentencing and Justice Reinvestment in Michigan

    Applying a Justice Reinvestment Approach to Improve Michigan's Sentencing System summarizes analyses using a justice reinvestment approach of Michigan's felony sentencing system for its impacts on public safety, recidivism trends, and state and local spending. The report outlines areas for policy development, including opportunities to improve the state's sentencing system to achieve more consistency and predictability in sentencing outcomes, stabilize and lower costs for the state and counties, and direct resources to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. View the Report


Know Your Rights Quick Guides

    The State Bar of Michigan Criminal Issues Initiative offers the following materials to attorneys, judges, and organizations or social services providers who assist people with criminal records.

    Order free, printed brochures!

  • Employment Brochure—Quick guide to reentry information on employment law issues for persons with a criminal conviction.
  • Immigration Brochure—Need-to-know information on immigration law issues, directed toward persons with a criminal conviction.
  • Housing Brochure—An outline of a person's housing rights after a criminal conviction.
  • Attorney-Client Questionnaire—An intake took for attorneys to use with clients.  It is designed to assist attorneys in avoiding unintended civil consequences or future legal actions for the client.
  • Reentry Resources Card (online version unavailable)—A durable, reusable wallet-sized card directing users to Michigan's reentry law website—a source of relevant, current information on civil legal issues facing individuals with a criminal record.
  • Children, Child Support, and Parental Rights (read online) PDF or print version Quick guide to issues relating to children, child support, and parental rights directed toward persons with a criminal conviction.
  • If you have questions, please contact or (800) 968-1442, ext. 6396. The Michigan State Bar Foundation provided support for the development of these materials. Funding does not necessarily reflect an endorsement of their content.


    The following are examples of projects currently in progress:
  • Michigan Reentry Law Wiki—This website assist individuals with criminal convictions maneuver the obstacles that result from having convictions by providing answers to frequently asked questions, current case law, statutes, trends regarding prisoner re-entry, and many downloadable forms.
  • Self-Help Materials—Development and dissemination of self-help materials to assist criminal defendants and organizations working with them with the civil consequences of the offenders’ criminal convictions.
  • Training Module—Tools and information for key stakeholders in the juvenile and criminal justice systems for making informed decisions that take into account the long-term civil collateral consequences of criminal convictions.
  • Decision Checklist & Tools—Development and dissemination of checklists, tools, and other materials to inform practitioners and other stakeholders about decisions impacting civil collateral consequences of criminal convictions.
  • Court Eligibility Form & Handbook—Create a form for use in the courts in felony and misdemeanor cases to determine eligibility for appointed counsel; create a handbook for the courts as to when appointment of counsel is required and when reimbursement of the costs of counsel is appropriate.


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State Bar of Michigan
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