[Photo of Kahryn Riley]

Kahryn Riley

Director of Criminal Justice Reform

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.

Michigan’s Trial Courts Have a Major Funding Problem

The statutory scheme that keeps them running is set to expire in 2020 – and there’s no back up plan in place yet … more

When the Cell Door Closes, a Window of Educational Opportunity Should Open

Three Important Criminal Justice Reform Opportunities for 2018

With fewer than 20 days left in the legislative session, that’s plenty of time to pass good reform … more

Can Technology Help Predict Crime and Flight Risk?

More courts use actuarial tools to assess risks offenders pose to society … more

New Evidence Suggests Harsher Sentences Don’t Always Deter More Crime

MCPP Scholar releases new research supporting “smart on crime” approach … more

Neither Inmates Nor Counties Get Out of Jail Free

Neither Inmates Nor Counties Get Out of Jail Free

Michigan counties try, unsuccessfully, to pass their jail expenditures on to inmates … more

Lunch for Justice

Kayak Tax Proponents Try to Disguise Cash Grab as Safety Measure

Adding onerous education requirements should not make tax more palatable … more

More Guilty Verdicts Mean More Cash for Local Courts