Juvenile Court Judge Readies Campaign

Chief Juvenile Court Magistrate Dan Michael says he is prepared if opponents try to make a campaign issue out of reforms underway at the court. In 2009, the U.S Justice Department began a comprehensive investigation of the court that found “serious and systemic failures” in the juvenile justice system in Memphis and Shelby County, noting that black children disproportionately faced harsher punishments than white children and were disproportionately transferred to the adult criminal justice system for trial as adults. “If that is the issue that is raised, bring it on,” Michael said of the report’s harsh conclusions. “I don’t feel like I’m part of the problem. I feel like I am the solution. I’ve been there long enough. I know the system. I know what needs to be changed.” The non-partisan judicial race is on the Aug. 7 ballot. The Memphis Daily News has the story.