tool kits & fact sheets

Community Partnerships Playbook

How can technologists and scientists engage communities in a spirit of partnership, without extractive practices? How can community organizations work with researchers in ways that benefit their communities and expand their capacity, rather than burdening their staff? The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's newest publication, the Community Partnerships Playbook, has some answers.

An Even Cleaner Slate: 6 Key Improvements *Still Needed* for Accessible Expungement Processes

While Clean Slate is a positive step forward, we believe that this bill package can still be expanded further to benefit Michigan’s most over-criminalized populations.

“Because She’s Powerful” National Report on Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones

DJC was proud to partner with Essie Justice Group on the first national survey of women with incarcerated loved ones. The new report, Because She’s Powerful: The Political Isolation and Resistance of Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones, asks and answers the question, what is mass incarceration doing to millions of women who have loved ones behind bars?

Wayne County Jail Fact Sheet

Wayne County has announced plans to build a $533-million dollar complex, including a new jail. Our fact sheet includes information on the jail project, data on the harms jails cause to individuals, families, and communities, and ideas for possible alternatives.

Letter to State Representative David LaGrand RE: Michigan House Bills 6455-6463

DJC and our partners at The Bail Project joined forces to address State Rep. LaGrand regarding our concerns with his proposed bail reform legislation. As the two organizations spearheading the first large-scale revolving bail fund in Michigan, we are uniquely positioned to understand this issue from our work on the ground.

Community Land Trust Powerpoint

A community land trust is community-owned nonprofit that acquires, holds, and sometimes manages land, leasing it to others for residential, commercial, or agricultural uses. As part of our Economic Equity practice, we’ve developed this presentation for communities to use to help them set up community land trusts.

Community Benefits Agreement and Neighborhood Advisory Council Toolkit

As part of our Economic Equity work, we have compiled extensive resources on setting up a neighborhood advisory council and negotiating community benefits agreements. We’ve worked with our community partners to determine what the best practices are, and hope that this will be a useful tool for anyone interested in advocating for economic equity in their communities.

Visions for Justice 2020 and Beyond

The Leadership Conference and the Civil Rights Corps created a platform that offers concrete solutions spanning every stage of the criminal-legal process, yielding a comprehensive framework for transformation. The Detroit Justice Center has signed on to this platform in hopes that it will contribute to a truly just vision of the future. Among other policy fixes put forward by this document, there is a call to end the war on drugs, which we believe is one of the things at the heart of the incarceration crisis in the U.S. Take a look at the platform to get a better sense of what is being called for.

Restorative Justice Youth Design Summit Report

In September 2018, the Detroit Justice Center joined forces with a host of community partners to put together a Restorative Justice Youth Design Summit, where young people in Detroit were asked what they would do with the money that Wayne County and Rock Ventures are spending to build two new jails in the city. Along with our colleagues at Designing Spaces + Designing Justice, we have put together this report detailing the process along with the outcomes of the summit. The report highlights the young people’s visions for what it would take to create truly safe communities.

Instead of a jail, I would build…

Have you ever dreamed about what would you build instead of a jail? Since summer of 2018, when Wayne County announced they were partnering with Rock Ventures to build a $553 million jail, we have been asking our partners what they would build in its stead. We encourage you do do the same!

Highway Robbery: How Metro Detroit Cops & Courts Steer Segregation and Drive Incarceration

70% of working Detroiters travel outside of the city for work & 7% of Detroiters take public transportation regularly. These conditions are part of a recipe for wealth extraction and incarceration. Metro Detroit police and courts are engaging in what amounts to highway robbery of marginalized drivers.

Detroit Police Fact Sheet

A fact sheet that covers how much the city spends on the Detroit Police Department, what the police do with that money, a grounding statement from Movement for Black Lives on what it means to defund the police, and a few ideas on where our tax dollars could go instead.

Co-ops for Community-Economic Developers

A presentation put together by DJC and Detroit Community Wealth Fund on how to build a co-op in your community.

Understanding Detroit Property Tax Assessments & Poverty Tax Exemptions

No Detroiter should be at risk of losing their home. Our Community Legal Advocates speak with our Digital Strategist about how to lower your property tax assessment in the city of Detroit. For anyone who thinks their property taxes are too high or are in danger of foreclosure, this video will walk you through what it takes to appeal your tax assessment and/or file poverty tax exemptions.

Know Your Rights: Police Interactions

A helpful two-page sheet to help anyone who’s been stopped by the police know what to say, and what their rights are.

Mapping Injustice: Navigating the Criminal Legal System

A set of resources from the Mapping Injustice series, which will help you better understand what to do if you or a loved one have been stopped by the police, arrested, or are awaiting a court date. There is a syllabus, a glossary of common terms, and links to resources to empower communities in fighting mass incarceration.

Metro Detroit Policing Graphics

This PDF contains graphics about policing in Dearborn, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Warren, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Eastpointe, The Grosse Pointes, and Inkster. We put these graphics together following our Highway Robbery report, which showed how police and courts in Metro Detroit create an ecosystem that traps people in the cycle of fines and fees. We hope that our neighbors in Metro Detroit will find this information useful.

Highway Robbery Traffic Enforcement Toolkits

This set of four toolkits were created for stakeholders who contribute to a system of traffic enforcement that targets poor drivers and locks them into a cycle of fines and fees.