Grand Rapids JGP

cityscape of Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids / Kent County, MI

Population: 660,000 (county)

The greater Grand Rapids/Kent County, Michigan, area is the first jurisdiction to begin Phase 2 (Planning) in CJRI’s Justice and Governance Partnership initiative, and was awarded a planning grant in January 2022. JGP intentionally focuses, in part, on mid-size jurisdictions such as Grand Rapids. Our work in Grand Rapids is supported by funding from the Michigan Justice Fund at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Public Agency at WMCAT, a social enterprise of the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, served as the host organization for the planning phase and is organizing the Grand Rapids JGP activities with community stakeholders. As they stated in their launch announcement, “The Grand Rapids community has worked for years to make our criminal justice system more fair and equitable,” said GR-JGP Co-Chair Joe Marogil of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, “the JGP gives us a real opportunity to coordinate and develop solutions that are more community-informed, data-driven, and ultimately better for everyone.”

The primary activities of the planning period were:

  • Convene a Planning Workgroup to build a shared understanding of the JGP components and develop goals and the activities needed to achieve those outcomes
  • Engage a broader stakeholder group to define Justice Audit elements
  • Develop governance structure of future Justice Collaborative and secure data sharing agreements from agencies and organizations for future Justice Audit
  • Select a Justice Intermediary to lead future JGP activities with the Justice Collaborative
  • Develop an implementation plan

JGP’s independent evaluators, Equal Measure, tracked progress in Grand Rapids over the first year, and lessons learned are available in their report, The Aspen Governance and Justice Partnership: Initial Lessons from the Field.

Read more about the work in Grand Rapids at the GR-JGP website.