Dean Kubiak making an impact as a member of the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission


Sheryl Kubiak, dean of the Wayne State School of Social Work and director of its Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, has been reappointed to the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission.

Appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Kubiak has served as a member of the Commission since Spring 2015. The Criminal Justice Policy Commission was created in the Michigan Legislative Council in 2014 and is comprised of seventeen members including representatives from the Michigan House, Senate, Attorney General’s Office and the community via direct gubernatorial appointments. The Commission is tasked with collecting, preparing, analyzing and disseminating data regarding criminal justice system policies, procedures and actions related to the defendant population, sentencing guidelines, recidivism rates, capacity, and community impact.

Kubiak serves on the commission as a state level representative for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence utilizing her social work and criminal justice expertise to represent victims – both those who are victimized by crime and those that the ‘system’ victimizes.

Kubiak came to Wayne State from the Michigan State University, where she was a professor in the College of Social Science’s Department of Social Work. Prior to that, she was a research associate in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Substance Abuse Research Center – both at University of Michigan, where she received her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in Psychology.

Kubiak’s research focuses on the intersections between criminal/legal systems and behavioral health, specifically the use of diversion programs and the integration of substance abuse and mental health treatment into the criminal justice system. Kubiak’s latest achievement in this arena includes the launch of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. Housed in the Wayne State School of Social Work, the Center assists local communities, organizations, and behavioral health and law enforcement agencies across Michigan in diverting individuals with mental health and substance use disorders from the criminal justice system to appropriate treatment. Specifically, the Center provides stakeholders with expertise, evaluation support, training and technical assistance to inform effective, evidence-based policy and programs.

Kubiak’s commitment to the data informed decision-making is echoed in the role of the Commission, which utilizes data to inform public policy, particularly sentencing guidelines. “Data driven decision making is what the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice is all about and my work on the Commission reinforces that data driven decision making at a state level” Kubiak said. “I am honored to serve in this capacity for the state and its citizens and look forward to being a part of this collective effort to inform and improve criminal justice policy.”

For a full list of Governor Snyder’s recent committee and board appointments and reappointments visit

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