The Grand Rapids Justice and Governance Partnership
Public safety is about more than policing. Safe and thriving communities prevent crime and reduce justice involvement by providing broad access to housing, healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. We must look more holistically at what contributes to public safety and quality of life, while also elevating the expertise of residents most impacted by chronic inequity. The Grand Rapids Justice and Governance Partnership (GR-JGP) provides a space for residents, community organizations, and city leaders to work together to create visions for public safety that are equity-centered and data-driven. GR-JGP will also identify how resources and policies can best be coordinated to support healthy and just communities. Grand Rapids is the first of a select group of communities to receive funding to collaborate with Aspen Institute’s Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, which is leading a national effort to promote systemic approaches to public safety and justice in mid-sized and rural communities.
The GR-JGP’s intentional focus on neighborhood outcomes will allow us to reach those who need the most resources and to better address community priorities. The shared data and analysis will be used to support collaborative policymaking, partnerships, and resource sharing across law enforcement, government partners, and community members.
Community-informed audits are conducted annually, mapping data and sharing information from multiple sectors within one platform.
Justice Reinvestment Plans
implementation plans are developed and informed by the Justice Audit findings.
The host organization for the GR-JGP
that convenes and facilitates GR-JGP activities of the Justice Collaborative, Audit, and Reinvestment Plans.
Current Initiative Participants
Noele Stith, Project Manager,
Design Group International
Joe Marogil, Co-Chair, ACLU
Melissa LaGrand, Co-Chair
Kent County Commission
61st District Court
Bank of America
Baxter Neighborhood Association
Catherine’s Health Center
City of Grand Rapids
Coalition to End Homelessness
Essential Needs Task Force
Grand Rapids Bar Association
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Grand Rapids Police Department
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Grand Rapids Urban League
Greater Grand Rapids NAACP
Johnson Center at GVSU
Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation
Kent Co. Board of Commissioners
Kent Co. Health Department
Kent Co. Michigan DHHS
Kent Co. Office of Community Corrections
Kent Co. Prosecutor’s Office
Kent Co. Sheriff’s Office
Kent School Services Network (KSSN)
MI House of Representatives
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Urban Core Collective
Women’s Resource Center
YWCA West Central Michigan
The Aspen Criminal Justice Reform Initiative is funding the engagement of the GR-JGP with initial support from The Michigan Justice Fund at The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Bank of America, Arnold Ventures, Ford Foundation, Ballmer Group, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Slack, Inc. Learn more about The Aspen Institute and the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative here.
Grand Rapids invited to participate
Host organization selected
Public Agency at WMCAT is selected to be the host organization; submits planning grant application on behalf of the initial Planning Workgroup.
Jan - Feb 2022
Planning grant awarded
Mar - May 2022
Planning Workgroup builds shared understanding of the GR-JGP approach and drafts local initiative goals.
Jun - Aug 2022
Sep 2022 - Feb 2023
Review and refine
Workgroups refine an overall theory of change, initial governance structures, data needs, and the role of the Local Justice Intermediary.
Mar - Jun 2023
Identify Local Justice Intermediary
Expand stakeholder outreach and select a Local Justice Intermediary to lead future GR-JGP activities with the Local Justice Collaborative.
Jul - Aug 2023
Submit Implementation Grant
Local Justice Intermediary transitions to host organization and submits proposal to Aspen CJRI for implementation funding.