Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II announced appointments to the Juvenile Residential Facilities Advisory Committee, which was established following a unanimous recommendation from the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform. The advisory committee will support the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by recommending quality assurance and improvement processes for juvenile residential and detention facilities statewide.

“The Juvenile Residential Facilities Advisory Committee will help us better serve young people by guiding our efforts to upgrade facilities and improve processes,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Today’s appointees will recommend changes to support young Michiganders and help ensure that one mistake does not catch someone in a cycle of recidivism.”

James Whalen, of Newberry, is the CEO/Executive Director of Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan, where he has worked since 1998. Prior to moving into management, he served as a direct care worker. He is also a U.S. Army Veteran and a member of the Sault Ste Marie Chippewa Indian Tribal Elder Sub-Committee for Unit II. Whalen holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Central Texas University. He is appointed to represent residential facilities.