Investing in Communities

Safe & Just Michigan promotes investment in local solutions, such as violence prevention, substance abuse, and crime survivor services that promote individual health and well-being.

Michigan’s history of investing in punishment

During the 1980s and 1990s the nation experienced a dramatic increase in incarceration, coupled with an expansion in prison construction. Michigan saw a 538 percent increase in the prison population from 1973 to 2007.

The investment in incarceration and corrections budgets underscored a punitive approach to crime and violence, and minimized the state’s focus on community health and safety.

A new approach to health and safety

Safe & Just Michigan is working to create a safe and healthy state for all Michiganders. To do so, we must focus on the real drivers of crime and violence, rather than on punishment. A public health approach to safety focuses strategies on the underlying problems that impact community well-being.

Our safety agenda focuses on health and community-based solutions to crime. Through state and national partners, we support investment in our communities, including:

  • Promoting individual and community health, healing, and well-being through community-based mental health and substance abuse services.
  • Increasing the use of trauma-informed services for crime survivors and their families to interrupt the cycle of hurt and violence.
  • Improving access and awareness of available community-based services for crime survivors, the formerly incarcerated, and their family members.