[Photo of Kahryn Riley]

Kahryn Riley

Policy Analyst

Kahryn A. Riley manages the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's criminal justice reform initiative. A Michigan native, she studied in the honors programs at Hillsdale College and Regent University School of Law. She holds a BA in politics and a JD, and is admitted to the Michigan State Bar.

Riley launched the Center's criminal justice reform initiative in 2016, and publishes regularly on issues pertaining to the state penal code, law enforcement, the corrections system and other matters of public safety and civil rights. Her work has appeared in publications including the Detroit News, the Lansing State Journal, The Hill and USA Today, and she is a sought-after speaker for criminal justice reform events and legislative briefings hosted by advocacy organizations from across the political spectrum. Her forthcoming primer on the state criminal justice system is a unique resource that provides a comprehensive overview of how Michigan addresses crime and public safety.

Riley is also a Visiting Fellow in criminal justice policy at the Badger Institute in Wisconsin, where she supports the Institute’s corrections reform effort. She has previously worked for the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, FreedomWorks in Washington DC and the Office of the Public Defender in Norfolk, VA. She currently resides in the Lansing area with her husband Brent, a firefighter/paramedic.

The (Un)Virtuous Cycle

Criminal Justice Reform = Workforce Development = Job Creation … more

Crime Shouldn’t Pay, but Requiring Reimbursement May Not Pay Off

Harsher penalties are not as effective at deterring crime as increasing the risk of getting caught … more

Michigan House Votes to Protect Electronic Data

Nearly unanimous in support of prohibiting state cooperation with illegal federal searches and seizures … more

Cash Bail Hurts Innocent Poor People

The practice should be reformed to serve its purpose better … more

Gov. Snyder Should Make Link Between Jobs and Criminal Justice Reform

Tonight’s State of the State will certainly focus on jobs — but shouldn’t ignore criminal justice reform … more

You Can Legally Warm Your Car Now

The Legislature should repeal more nonsensical administrative rules in 2018 … more

State Senate Tightens Rules on Driver’s Licenses

The three-ticket rule may inflict collateral damage … more

Five Important Criminal Justice Reforms

Virtual Justice: Using New Technology in the Criminal Justice System

It can work if used judiciously … more

Why There’s a Revolving Prison Door