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Press Release - Wayne County and Third Circuit Court Partner to Ensure Justice for Youth

Jun 22, 2020


June 21, 2020

Michael McElrath, mmcelrath@waynecounty.com ,(313) 303-5042
DiAnna Solomon, dsolomon@rosetrinity.com, (313) 300-4389

Wayne County and Third Circuit Court Partner to Ensure Justice for Youth
Creating the Safety Net for Youth with More Positive Outcomes

Detroit, MI - Beginning June 22nd, Wayne County and Third Circuit Court will shift Community Juvenile Justice will partner to implement the Youth Assessment Screening Instrument (YASI) to improve pre-adjudication risk and needs assessments for juvenile offenders.

The new process places greater emphasis on diversion services through Wayne County’s array of community providers, Care Management Organizations, with a long-term prospect of reducing the pipeline from the juvenile system to the adult criminal system.

This partnership is spearheaded by Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans and Third Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny with the goal to better serve children and families who are involved in the juvenile justice system.

“This innovative approach to juvenile justice utilizes an early assessment of individual and family needs in delinquency cases,” said Kenny. “It will provide a greater opportunity for youth to receive needed services and increase the diversion of cases from the juvenile justice system.

The partnership chose the YASI as it gives families and attorneys more information to better assess service needs. The YASI assessment identifies strengths, mental health, predictive risks for future court involvement, adverse childhood experiences, and pro-social skills.

“We were all committed to long-term reduction in recidivism and increasing cases eligible for diversion.” said Evans. “This work moves the needle toward better futures for youth and their families.”

All YASI assessments will be completed by the Third Circuit Court – Clinic for Child Study (Clinic). With this decision the Clinic returns to its roots of primarily assessment services to assist the Court with the progress of cases through the juvenile justice system.

Partners in this effort included the Wayne County Prosecutors Office, Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network, Wayne RESA and Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in the School of Social Work who has been providing consultation and will continue in the role of project evaluator for the first several years.


Wayne County Juvenile and Youth Services has been a leader in juvenile justice reform for the past 20 years. In place of the centralized, institution-based, state administered program for juveniles. The County transformed to a community-based approach that emphasizes continuity of assessment, access to all identified treatment needs, early diversion from adjudication and home-based interventions that reduce recidivism and support family centered services which has contributed to its low rates of recidivism.

Third Judicial Circuit is the largest circuit court in Michigan, with 58 judges and three operating divisions. The Third Circuit Court has jurisdiction over Civil, Criminal, and Family matters arising in the County of Wayne. The National Center for State Courts has cited the Third Circuit Court as one of the model urban courts in the United States for case flow management and the timely disposition of the Court's docket. Overall administrative responsibility for the operations of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan rests with the Chief Judge and the Executive Court Administrator, under the direction of the State Court Administrator's Office and the Michigan Supreme Court.

Frequently Asked Questions

Agency and Principal(s)

Wayne County
Warren Evans, Judge Kaufman, Genelle Allen, Dr. Shenetta Coleman, Brian Manning

Third Circuit Court
Chief Judge Kenney, Presiding Judge Edward Joseph, Judge Mary Beth Kelly, Executive Court Admin Zenell Brown, Clinic Dir. Michelle Milligan

Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice in the School of Social Work
Dr. Sheryl Kubiak, Terri Gilbert, JD; Celeste Rabaut, Susan Lebold

Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network
Willie Brooks, Dana Lasenby, Crystal Palmer. Monica Hampton, Sherri Ruza

Wayne RESA
Joliel Hill

Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office
Robert Heimbuch, Hervey Jenkins

Third Circuit Court Contract Attorney Pods
Child Advocacy Program, Juvenile Advocacy and Defense Group, Juvenile Law Group, PLLC, Juvenile Legal Services of Michigan, and Michigan Children’s Law Center

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