By Mike Kruzman /

A local representative has been assigned to participate with a new council that will explore jail reform.

State Representative and former Livingston County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Mueller of Linden has been assigned to be a part of the new Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council.

The council was created by an executive order signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday, with Mueller being nominated to participate by Speaker of House, Lee Chatfield. Governor Whitmer said, in a release, that the council will play a critical role in implementing long-overdue reforms in the justice system.

The council will work on goals laid out by 2019’s Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. That task force issued its final report and recommendations after finding there has been significant growth in county jail populations, which costs taxpayers roughly half a billion dollars annually. It recommended state policy changes related to traffic violations, arrests, behavioral health diversion, and more, with several of those being signed into law this past January.

Mueller and the new Jail Reform Advisory Council will facilitate, assist with, and evaluate the implementation of this legislation throughout the state.