Those opposed to the decriminalization of sex work in Washtenaw County voice concerns
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer pursue charges against those who work consensually in the sex industry. They said that when sex work is legal, sex trafficking tended to increase and not decrease. Indeed the criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work adjacent harm. Accordingly, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will henceforth decline to bring charges related to consensual sex work per se. READ: Human trafficking survivor takes fight for change to LansingChrissy Hemphill is an advocate for human trafficking survivors.
‘We are really focused on equity’: New Washtenaw County prosecutor makes sweeping changes
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The new Washtenaw County prosecutor, Eli Savit, weighed in on what drove him to run for that position and what has inspired him to drive so much change. “We are really focused on equity in our justice system,” Savit said. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit scraps cash bailThree days into his term, he scrapped cash bail. READ: Washtenaw County prosecutor announces office will no longer pursue charges for consensual sex workOn Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Savit announced a new policy to combat racial profiling in Washtenaw County. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announces new policy to fight racial profilingSavit said he wants Washtenaw County to serve as an example for the rest of the state.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit talks vision, policy change in first weeks in office
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has made his mark in his first 21 days in office. “I am a believer in the justice system based on what you did and not who you are,” said Savit. Three days later, Savit put Washtenaw County on the map by making it the first county in Michigan to scrap cash bail. Kids aren’t just mini adults and we shouldn’t be trapping them in the criminal legal system for adolescent or childhood mistakes. For instance, he said he’d rather see people deal with drug use through the health system rather than the legal system.
Racial profiling focus of 2021 Washtenaw Reads book
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw Reads program is an initiative by local public libraries to encourage reading and civic dialogue. One book is selected each year and participating libraries include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Salem-South Lyon, Saline and Ypsilanti. This year’s Washtenaw Read is “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. For more information about the book, to see the authors’ websites and to discover related titles for people of all ages, click here. According to the Ann Arbor District Library’s website, Washtenaw Reads books should meet the following criteria:
Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announces new policy to fight racial profiling
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announced today a new policy aimed at combatting racial profiling. The policy directive is only applicable to “consent searches” after routine ordinance or traffic stops. “We are sending a message that we are not interested in pursuing contraband charges that stem from racial profiling. Our Policy Regarding Pretext Stops is another proactive step towards creating a criminal justice system that works for all of us. None of us are free, until we are all free.”To read the full policy directive, click here.
Washtenaw County prosecutor announces office will no longer pursue charges for consensual sex work
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer pursue charges against those who work consensually in the sex industry. “We are focused on crime that really harms the community,” said Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit. Charges will not be filed against consensual sex workers, officials said. The prosecutor will still work cases against human traffickers and those who may be holding people against their will. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor no longer pursuing charges for consensual sex work
Washtenaw County Prosecutor no longer pursuing charges for consensual sex work
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Thursday that his office will no longer press criminal charges in consensual sex work cases. Savit said that his office will continue to “vigorously pursue” sex work crimes, including sexual and physical assault, human trafficking and crimes involving children. “The criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work-adjacent harm,” reads the 8-page policy directive issued to Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys. Furthermore, research papers in the world’s leading independent medical journal, The Lancet, conclude that decriminalizing sex work can reduce new HIV infections. “Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union have all called for the decriminalization of sex work,” reads the directive.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor: No more charges in cannabis, psychedelic plant cases
Marijuana plants are pictured at the Baker's marijuana nursery at Baker Medical Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Tuesday that his office will no longer bring charges in cases related to marijuana or entheogenic plant use, possession or small-scale distribution. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we'll no longer be charging cases related to marijuana or entheogenic plants (naturally occurring psychedelics). If Washtenaw County’s largest city’s resolution decriminalized the use, growth and possession of psychedelic plants, the Prosecutor’s Office sees no point in bringing charges forward elsewhere in the county. For that reason, we will no longer be contesting expungement for marijuana or entheogenic-related offenses.”See the full policy directives for cannabis and marijuana and entheogenic plants.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit launches transparency project with U-M, ACLU
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Tuesday the launch of the “Prosecutor Transparency Project” in partnership with University of Michigan’s Law School and the ACLU of Michigan. The project, which begins immediately, aims to uncover possible racial inequities by analyzing data surrounding decision-making by the prosecutor’s office. “We know systemic racism exists in all facets of society, and the Prosecutor’s Office is no exception. Finally, in consultation with researchers, the Prosecutor’s Office will identify metrics to track to ensure equitable treatment. He has spent years compiling and analyzing data from Michigan’s criminal justice system, was the data consultant for the CREW report and has served as Data Administrator for Michigan’s Criminal Justice Policy Commission.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit scraps cash bail
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Monday that the Prosecutor’s Office will eliminate the use of cash bail in any case. Savit, who took office on Jan. 1, alerted staff Monday morning in a 20-page policy directive. The move has made Washtenaw County the first jurisdiction in the state to eliminate cash bail. Washington, D.C. and New Jersey have stopped seeking cash bail, as well as the city of San Francisco and counties in Vermont and Virginia. According to the directive, cash bail places poorer people at risk of losing their jobs, homes and can place serious harm on children of defendants.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit rescinds ‘zero-tolerance’ policies
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced that he is rescinding “zero-tolerance” policies that were previously used by the prosecutor’s office. The policies prevented certain defendants from going through substance-use treatment or rehabilitation options in lieu of incarceration. A one-sized-fits-all approach to justice—divorced from the factual circumstances of each unique case—is not justice at all. I said repeatedly during my campaign that my first act as Prosecutor would be to eliminate ‘zero-tolerance policies,’ and we’ve done that today. Everyone involved in the justice system—crime survivors, defendants, witnesses, and families—deserves to have their unique case treated with the care that it deserves.
Aug. 4 primary: Whos running in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County
ANN ARBOR With the Aug. 4 primary just over a week away, Ann Arbor voters are looking to see who will represent them locally, statewide and beyond. Although many residents may have voted absentee already, many are still in the process of reviewing candidates and making decisions. 3rd District county commissionerJacob Ehrman (R)Ken Siler (R)4th District county commissionerDarcy Berwick (D)Daryl Campbell (D)Adam Cecil (D)Paul Jakabcsin (D)Caroline Sanders (D)5th District county commissionerJustin Hodge (D)Denise Kirchoff (D)Karen Lovejoy Roe (D)Michael White (D)Pittsfield Charter Township borders the southern part of Ann Arbor. Some parts have an Ann Arbor address and some students in the area are serviced by Ann Arbor Public Schools. PittsfieldTownship supervisorMandy Grewal (D)Christina Lirones (D)Pittsfield Township treasurerFeliziana Meyer (D)Patricia Tupacz Scribner (D)Pittsfield Township trustee (four seats available)Jonas Berzanskis (D)Linda Edwards-Brown (D)Yameen Jaffer (D)Gerald Krone (D)Jason Meier (D)Janet Nevaux (D)George Ralph (D)Andrea Urda-Thompson (D)Sean Zera (D)Pittsfield Township park commissioner (five seats available)