Farmington Hills group hosts ‘Smart Justice’ speaker

Rick Speck
Rick Speck (ACLU)

Rick Speck, Detroit Field Organizer for a Michigan ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) project designed to find more fair and effective ways to achieve justice, will speak in Farmington Hills on November 21.

The 6:30 p.m. event at Farmington A.M.E. Church, in the Chapel at Nardin Park United Methodist Church, is open to the public.

According to “The Sentencing Project,” a Washington, D.C. based organization working to reform the criminal justice system, a 500% increase increase in the number of Americans incarcerated over the past 40 years is a result of policy changes, not crime rates. Nearly 40,000 prisoners fill Michigan’s prisons, and another 175,000 are on probation.

The Michigan ACLU’s Smart Justice Project is part of a nationwide effort find more fair and effective ways of achieving justice.

“With a three-pronged approach to ending the discriminatory cash bail system; bringing about sentencing reform; and assuring accountability and transparency in the way prosecutors handle cases, a better, smarter system of justice can be developed,” Speck said in a press release.

“One in three American families is impacted by the criminal justice system,” he added. “Those people serving prison sentences? They are somebody’s father, brother, son, grandson, or mother/sister/daughter/granddaughter.”

This event is hosted by the Beloved Community Initiative, founded by a group of local residents and church members in Farmington and Farmington Hills. The church is located at 29887 W. 11 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills. The meeting is open to everyone.

For information about the work of BCI and the November 21 presentation, contact Cheryl Willette at 248-893-7474 or

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