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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence Issues Statement on the Incarceration of Birmingham Grooves Student for Probation Violation

July 15, 2020
Press Release

Detroit, MI– Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) issued the following statement regarding the incarceration of a Birmingham Grooves High School student, identified as “Grace,” for her failure to complete distance learning assignments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The recent decision to sentence a child to a detention center is more than disturbing, and I would like to ensure this case is not a glaring reminder of the disproportionate realities faced by minorities in the criminal justice system,” said Rep. Lawrence. “COVID-19 has peeled away the veneer of fairness and exposed the lack of equality in mental health care and the equitable application of justice in the legal system. Children of color, in particular, are the victims of heavy-handed, unbalanced incarceration sentences. All those in power, including members of Congress, have the responsibility to act equitably and compassionately.”

“I support the power within the judicial system, but strongly challenge the verdict of a minor being incarcerated for a nonviolent, school related offense in the midst of a pandemic,” stated Rep. Lawrence. “My office is currently investigating the issue and plans to work with state and local officials on next steps.”