In 2021, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Kalamazoo joined community partners in advocating for transparency in arrests, charges and prosecutions in Kalamazoo County.
The effort – known as the Criminal Justice Transparency Campaign – urged the Kalamazoo County Commission to establish an online database of arrests within the County. The database would make information about type of offense, race, gender, location, length of sentence, and other information publicly available.
Advocating for this database was critical to supporting productive community discussions, making informed changes and creating an environment where everyone feels equally protected by the people entrusted with our safety.
In November 2021, the County Commission issued a proclamation in support of the database.
Creating an Anti-Racist Juvenile System in Kalamazoo
KZCF continues to support projects that ensure youth have an equitable chance for success in school and life beyond the classroom. KZCF funded a 2021 study by The Michigan Center for Youth Justice (MCYJ) on how youth of color are impacted by the juvenile justice system. The study also offers collaborative solutions that prioritize prevention and re-direction over throwing children in jail at a critical point in their development. The study is connecting community members, the criminal justice system and school systems to data and guidance to address racial injustice.