Bail Reform: Improving Pretrial Release to Benefit Defendants and Taxpayers


Michigan’s system of bail and pretrial release is ripe for reform, but any changes to this complex structure require a thorough understanding of current practices and how they diverge from best practices. Analysts at the Mackinac Center and the ACLU of Michigan both published papers to inform the public about bail in our state, which they will present jointly.

To download the ACLU's paper on Michigan's courts' use of bail, please click here.

A transcript of this event is available here.


Heather Garretson is an experienced litigator and former law professor who leads the ACLU of Michigan’s Smart Justice Campaign, which aims to reduce Michigan’s incarceration rate by half and eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Heather also researches and consults on criminal justice reform issues and the collateral consequences of a conviction. Heather speaks throughout the country and consults with policymakers and businesses on policies intended to improve the criminal justice system. She sits on the Michigan State Bar’s Criminal Issues Initiative and is a Michigan State Bar Fellow.

Kahryn Riley is director of criminal justice reform at the Mackinac Center. 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. She is a sought-after speaker for criminal justice reform events and legislative briefings hosted by advocacy organizations from across the political spectrum.

Lunch is free for attendees who RSVP. Please register online here

WHEN: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
  11:30 a.m.: Check-in and lunch available
  Noon to 1:00 p.m.: Program with Q&A
WHERE: Radisson at the Capitol
  111 N Grand Ave
  Lansing, MI 48933

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at 989-698-1905 or


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