Algeria Wilson, MSW serves as the Director of Public Policy for the National Association of Social Workers, Michigan Chapter. In her role she is responsible for engaging membership, various governmental agencies, and advocacy partners to implement state level public policy that is in alignment with the Code of Ethics and social work values on behalf of the 28,000+ professional social workers and 6,500 incoming professionals across the state. Previously, Algeria interned for a Michigan social work state representative. Her work included a range of responsibilities from scheduling, drafting resolutions on behalf of the representative, attending community meetings, town halls and focusing on senior affordable housing issues in the district. Algeria is certified by the University of Connecticut’s Nancy M. Humphries Campaign School for Political Social Workers – which teaches social workers to run compelling campaigns and has received the Cenie Jomo Award, from the National Association of Black Social Workers for her commitment to policy work.
Daniel Jones is currently the Project Coordinator for the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI). As a former Juvenile Lifer, Daniel served 23 years inside the Michigan Department of Corrections, and was involved with an organization called the National Lifer of America, Inc. (NLA). His involvement in the NLA enabled him, and a small group of others, to take on the task of creating a peer-to-peer, curriculum-based program to help other incarcerated individuals navigate their way through the parole process. With guidance and support from American Friends Service Committee, “The Personal Enrichment & Parole Readiness Program” was created and facilitated at four prisons – prior to COVID-19 – and modules from the curriculum are still sent to people currently incarcerated, as a means of self-help. Since his release in March of 2019, Daniel has co-facilitated two national convenings – the first in July of 2019, in Detroit, on “Ending Perpetual Punishment”; and the second in November of 2019, in Washington D.C., to “Unlock The Box”. Daniel has also completed a three-day training with Emergent Strategies Institute, has done speaking engagements at MSU Law School, University of Michigan, and Central Michigan University, has started a small business, and is making the most of his second chance.
Desiree M. Ferguson is a self-described social justice warrior. She currently serves as the Legal Director / Senior Staff Attorney of the Detroit Justice Center. Before joining DJC, Desiree retired after serving for over 26 years as an Assistant Defender at the State Appellate Defender Office, where she specialized in handling criminal defense appeals on behalf of indigent persons convicted of felonies, in both State and Federal courts. She taught a Criminal Appellate Advocacy clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Wayne State University Law School and the University of Michigan Law School. Previously, she worked for UAW Legal Services Plan, Michigan Legal Services, Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services and Farmworker Legal Services. A native Detroiter, Desiree graduated from Cass Tech in 1975, and from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature in 1978 and a Juris Doctor in 1982. She is an active member of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and served as its national co-Chair for two terms. In that capacity, she co-authored a Brief of Amicus Curiae in the Supreme Court of the United States in Gratz v Bollinger, supporting the University of Michigan’s affirmative action educational programs. She is also an active member of the National Lawyers Guild
Born, raised and educated in Cincinnati, OH, Frank Bertram has spent most of his early life living in the southern Ohio-Northern Kentucky area, except while serving in the Army in the late ‘60’s working as a Specialist 5 in missiles. Frank returned from the army to complete his doctorate in analytical chemistry and has worked primarily in the area of energy and fuels for private corporations as well as the U.S. government. His last employment saw a relocation to Ann Arbor, MI, 26 years ago where his wife and him raised their two now adult children. Upon retiring from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Frank had opportunities to witness first hand the negative and demoralizing impact of our current retributive justice system especially on a young man of color. After reading some of Howard Zehr’s writings as well as others, Frank came to believe a more restorative approach to justice would achieve more productive and positive results and became a member of Friends of Restorative Justice of Washtenaw County, and through them, a member of Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration steering team. Frank is especially interested in changing the court system by electing prosecutors and judges with a more restorative view of justice.
Gilda Z. Jacobs has served as president & CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy since 2011, following a 30-year career in public service at the local, county and state levels. Gilda has won numerous awards for her work and was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of fame in 2019. She was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2016 and received the Michigan Food Bank Council’s Hunger-Free Award in 2015. In 2012, she participated in the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in the Nonprofit Leadership Program. Gilda served in the state Senate for eight years after serving two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives where she made history as the first woman floor leader in either chamber of the Legislature. Prior to serving in the Legislature, she served as an Oakland County Commissioner and a Huntington Woods City Commissioner. In addition to her civic leadership, Jacobs served as Development Director for JARC, a Jewish association providing residential care for persons with developmental disabilities. She also worked as a special education teacher in the Madison School District. Jacobs received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan.
John S. Cooper is the Executive Director of Safe & Just Michigan, a criminal justice policy and research organization based in Lansing, MI. He joined Safe & Just Michigan in 2017 as its Policy Director after serving as a criminal justice policy advisor to State Representative David LaGrand (D – 75th, Grand Rapids). Cooper’s research and advocacy is focused on Michigan’s adult criminal legal system, with an emphasis on strategies to reduce Michigan’s prison population, remove barriers to successful reentry, and increase the use of effective alternatives to incarceration. During his tenure at Safe & Just Michigan, Cooper has led several legislative campaigns to reform Michigan’s criminal legal system, including the successful campaign to enact “objective parole,” 2018 PA 339. Before he joined Rep. LaGrand’s office, Cooper spent seven years as a litigator in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP. He also served as a law clerk to Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. Cooper obtained his juris doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law after graduating with honors from Calvin College. He lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids with his wife, Julia, and son Ben.
Josh Hoe joined the staff of Safe & Just Michigan in 2019 as their policy analyst, bringing with him 20 years of experience in debate, rhetoric and strategic planning. In 2018 his strategic policy and communications work supported the passage of the federal First Step Act. He also hosts the podcast “Decarceration Nation” that explores a wide range of criminal justice issues with national and state-based experts. Josh’s drive to reform the criminal justice system stems from his own experience with it. Josh also has 20 years of experience as a coach of debate teams, where he developed skills in research, building arguments and rhetoric and developing strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Central Oklahoma. Josh lives in Ypsilanti.
Since 1989, Kay Perry has served as Executive Director of the Michigan Chapter of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (MI-CURE), a statewide grassroots criminal justice reform organization. She also served as Chair of National CURE from 1997 to 2009. Beginning in 2000, she coordinated the ETC (Equitable Telephone Charges) Campaign on behalf of National CURE. That campaign was an effort to reduce the high cost of prison telephone calls nationwide. She is the facilitator for a small group of Kalamazoo residents (the Forget-You-Nots) who meet monthly to write to people from Kalamazoo who are in high-level Michigan prisons and are experiencing some degree of isolation. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she has had careers in business data processing and technical writing.
Lois Pullano is the Executive Director and Founder of Citizens for Prison Reform (CPR), a statewide family-led nonprofit in 2011. CPR assists and supports families with incarcerated loved ones. A Family Advisory Board was established in 2015 that meets with MDOC Administration to work on strengthening family support and humane treatment. Recently CPR began the Open MI Door Campaign to end the use of solitary confinement in Michigan prisons, jails and juvenile detention facilities.
Marilena David-Martin is Deputy Director at the State Appellate Defender Office. She represents indigent individuals appealing felony convictions. Marilena manages the Criminal Defense Resource Center and provides training, resources, and support to the criminal defense bar. She launched and manages Project Reentry, a program focused on supporting people on their journey home from prison. Marilena serves as Chair for the State Bar of Michigan’s (SBM) Prisons and Corrections Section and is on the Board of Directors for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM), Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program, and the Michigan Bench Bar Conference Foundation. Marilena is the recipient of the 2014 SBM Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, the 2014 CDAM Justice for All Award, and the 2018, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Community Impact Award. In 2019, she was appointed by Governor Whitmer to serve on the Michigan Community Corrections Board.
© Copyright 2020 MICHIGAN COLLABORATIVE TO END MASS INCARCERATION. WebCreationUS Website Designers