Jazmine Wells, Policy Advocacy Manager
Jazmine Wells joined Safe & Just Michigan as our policy and advocacy manager in 2023. In this role, she will help guide the policy initiatives supported by Safe & Just Michigan through the legislative process. Most recently, she has served as a mitigation specialist on the State Appellate Defender Office’s (SADO) juvenile lifer unit, where she assisted with the resentencing of Michigan’s juvenile lifers.
A native Detroiter, Jazmine originally wanted to become a prosecuting attorney with the aim of making the world safer for future generations. But after taking part in a University of Michigan service learning program called Project Community, which allowed her to see what jail and prison conditions are like — including inedible food, inadequate living conditions, and a lack of mental health services for people detained there — she changed her mind.
“We actually need to do something to help people rehabilitate and help people get better and help people heal. And then, we need to get them back out to where they’re supposed to be,” Wells said. “I really think that needs to happen.”
After Jazmine participated in Project Community, she became inspired to support marginalized communities – mainly incarcerated people. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology and then a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan before going to work with SADO. She quickly learned that her background as a Black woman and a Detroiter helped her connect with many of her clients in a way that others couldn’t — which is why she also wants to see more people of color involved in advocacy work at the policy level.
Jazmine lives in Detroit.