The teen spent 78 days in a Michigan juvenile detention center after a state judge ruled she’d violated her probation by not completing online schoolwork.
Grace, a 15-year-old Michigan teen who was detained for more than two months for failing to turn in homework, has been released.
According to ProPublica, a panel of judges in Michigan’s Appellate Court ordered the release of Grace on Friday, overturning a lower court’s ruling that denied her release from the Children’s Village facility just two weeks ago, citing her failure to turn in online homework as a violation of her probation. Within just a few hours of the ruling being handed down, Grace was set free into the custody of her mother, but she will remain on probation in home confinement while her appeal is pending.
In April, Grace was put on probation for charges of assault and theft stemming from two separate altercations late last year. The terms of her probation required Grace to complete assigned schoolwork. When she failed to do so, her probation officer filed a violation. In May, she was found guilty of the violation and sent to the juvenile detention center in suburban Detroit, spending 78 days in the facility until a previous ProPublica report brought attention to the case and shed light on the depths of structural racism in the state’s juvenile justice system.
Since the publishing of that report, protests and petitions for Grace’s release built momentum around the case. When the appellate court’s ruling was announced, Michigan congresswoman, Debbie Dingel, wrote it was “Great news.” She added, “But we can’t forget Grace is just one case in our broken criminal justice system. Let this case shine a light and raise awareness of the work we still need to do.”
In a statement on behalf of Grace and her mother, their attorneys noted, “They are both extremely and deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from around the country, and for Grace’s release; she is anxious to be with her family.”