Youth Behind Bars report cover image
Courtesy image / Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

There’s been increasing scrutiny in recent years of how Michigan treats juveniles who are tried and convicted as adults in the state’s justice system. A bipartisan coalition of Michigan lawmakers is proposing big changes to the way the state handles these cases. We talk to Sen. Rick Jones, one of the sponsors of the bill package being introduced Wednesday, and Kristen Staley, Associate Director of Youth Justice Policy for the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Meridian Township Police patch
Courtesy image / Meridian Township Police Department

For 17 years, the Meridian Township Police Department has invited those it serves to get an up close look at day to day life behind the Thin Blue Line. The township’s Police Citizens Academy is an outreach tool that both officers and participants say pays dividends in trust. Current State’s Kevin Lavery previews this year’s session.

Mike Yankowski photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Medical cases involving the use of heroin are on the rise in Lansing. Current State talks with police chief Mike Yankowski about efforts to deal with the increasing usage of heroin use in the city.


Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.

Flickr - Chris Miller

Michigan has the second highest number of juvenile lifers in the U.S. Those are people who were sentenced to life in prison without parole before they turned 18. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing laws mandating life without parole for juvenile offenders amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Michigan was one of a few states not to apply that ruling retroactively. But now, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could determine whether those juvenile lifers sentenced before 2012 will get a shot at release.