As an historic and truly transforming initiative, the Fair Michigan Justice Project (Justice Project) is a collaboration between Fair Michigan and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. This collaboration focuses on homicides and other capital offenses committed against members of the LGBTQ community.
Former assistant prosecutor, Kam Towns was appointed as the Justice Project Special Prosecutor by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. In her capacity with Fair Michigan and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office Ms. Towns investigates and prosecutes crimes against members of the LGBTQ community. The networking ability and outreach of Fair Michigan’s Director of Transgender Advocacy, Julisa Abad, helps us to reach potential witnesses and resolve difficult cases.
This effort is funded by Fair Michigan which is a 501(c)(3) and is actively seeking funding to ensure the Justice Project’s longevity and success. This is a truly unique collaboration for the delivery of justice to the LGBTQ community. The partnership between Prosecutor Worthy of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan is one of the first of its kind in the nation and advances the cause of criminal justice and public safety in Metro Detroit.
Members of the Justice Project team are working hard to protect the LGBTQ community against bias and hate crimes. The Justice Project is actively investigating, preparing, and prosecuting cases involving LGBTQ victims who have been targeted based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This roster of cases includes a number of unsolved homicides and felonious assaults of transgender women and gay men in the Metro Detroit area. Most of these cases included use of a weapon.
Every day we hear from more victims of hate crimes. We also hear from people that would like us to come to their communities to help set up similar programs. As of now, we have worked with the Prosecutors’ offices in Ingham, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties to do just that.
Justice Project representatives go to areas where crimes were committed, make connections, talk to people and let them know they are there to help. They go to the victims and witnesses and listen to their stories in their communities where they feel most comfortable. As a result, the Justice Project has frequently been the first call victims have made after experiencing a hate crime.