Terri Gilbert retires as CBHJ Juvenile Justice Manager


After nearly four years as the juvenile justice manager, Terri Gilbert has retired from the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at the Wayne State University School of Social Work. Gilbert was an integral part of expanding the CBHJ’s focus to include youth and juvenile justice systems. She established the juvenile justice initiative and worked with several communities across the state to evaluate and improve local juvenile justice systems. During COVID-19, she collaborated with advocates to examine Michigan’s practices around detention, confinement, and services. Throughout her time, she worked to facilitate implementation of screening and assessment practices to ensure juvenile court rulings are appropriate for the needs and risks of each individual young person.

“Terri’s passion and hard work have made such an impact on me and everyone at the CBHJ”, said CBHJ Deputy Director Liz Tillander. “Her dedication to Michigan’s youth is truly an inspiration”.

Terri’s impact stretched beyond the juvenile justice initiative at the CBHJ. She encouraged all staff to consider how youth may be impacted by programs, and reminded her colleagues that youth in the youth justice system often become adults in the criminal/legal system.

Although Terri’s retirement marks the end of her staff role, neither the CBHJ’s dedication to youth justice nor Terri’s contributions are coming to an end. Early next year, Terri will begin a small consulting role. During this transition, the CBHJ is dedicated to continuing to provide Michigan communities with evaluation and technical assistance to improve their juvenile justice systems. As bills move through the Michigan legislature to implement recommendations of the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform, the juvenile justice initiative at the CBHJ will continue. “The recent youth justice reform legislation that passed the House and Senate and awaits the Governor's signature has been a long-held dream of Terri's.”, said CBHJ Director and School of Social Work Dean Sheryl Kubiak. “With the legislation, and the pioneering work she has facilitated in Wayne County, CBHJ now has a road map to assist other counties in implementing these groundbreaking reforms. With Terri's tutelage, we look forward to doing our part to ensure long-lasting change”.

“With groundbreaking youth justice reforms being launched in Michigan, it seems like the right time to hand off to the next generation of leaders," said Terri. But I will never stop fighting for kids.” 

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