Washtenaw County Sheriff appointed founding member of national criminal justice think tank

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton. (Credit: Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office)

ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton has been elected as a founding member of a new nationwide organization and think tank that aims to steer policy in the criminal justice field.

The D.C.-based Council on Criminal Justice is an invitational, nonpartisan membership organization that brings together experts from the fields of academia, law enforcement, government, business, media and more to make progress in the justice field based on evidence and facts.

According to its mission statement:

“The Council on Criminal Justice advances understanding of the criminal justice policy choices facing the nation and builds consensus for solutions that enhance safety and justice for all. We believe a fair and effective criminal justice system is essential to democracy and a core measure of our nation’s well-being.

“Above all, the Council is founded on the belief that a fair and effective criminal justice system is essential to democracy and a core measure of our nation’s well-being.”

According to the Council on Criminal Justice, taxpayers spend a quarter trillion dollars annually on the imprisonment or probation of seven million U.S. adults, yet return-to-prison rates are consistently high. The organization calls for fact-based reforms to the system and hopes to act as a resource to bridge both sides of the political divide to agree on “central issues of the day.”

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The Council’s advisory Board of Trustees is co-chaired by Mark Holden of Koch Industries and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Members of the Board of Trustees include:

  • U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah
  • Former California Gov. Jerry Brown
  • Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
  • Van Jones of CNN

Sheriff Clayton was nominated by Trustees and Directors and elected by the Council’s Board of Directors.

According to its website, “Members are selected based on criteria that include practical impact, intellectual achievement, dedication to research-based policymaking, standing among peers, promise of future service to the field, and potential for contributing to CCJ’s work.”

The Council’s founder, president and CEO is Adam Gelb, former journalist, director of public safety initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staffer.

To see a full list of the Council’s members, click here.

For more information, visit www.counciloncj.org.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.