MCC Justice Series Looks at “Too Poor to Pay: Debtors’ Prison” April 20

And Justice for All Series on "Too Poor to Pay"

The popular “…And Justice for All” series at Muskegon Community College continues on Thursday, April 20, with a panel discussion of “Too Poor to Pay: Debtors’ Prison.” Community members are encouraged to attend the free event, which begins at 6 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100.

The panelists will address the consequences of bail, tickets, fines, and plea bargaining sentences on the poor in the American court system.

MCC instructor Andy Wible will moderate the panel discussion featuring the Hon. Raymond J. Kostrzewa, 60th District Court; D.J. Hilson, the Muskegon County Prosecutor; Heather Garretson, an experienced litigator and former law professor who researches and consults on the collateral consequences of a conviction; and Chad D. Catlino from the Muskegon County Public Defender Office.

Here’s a closer look at the panelists:

  • Raymond J. Kostrzewa is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Detroit School of Law. He joined the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office and was soon promoted to Chief Trial Attorney. In 2014, he was appointed to the 60th District Court bench and in 2016 he was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve as Chief Judge of Muskegon’s 60th District Court.
  • D.J. Hilson is a graduate of Marquette University and Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing. In June 1999, he became assistant prosecutor in Muskegon County. During his 13 years in that role, he handled cases in the district court, circuit court, and family court. Hilson has tried approximately 70 felony cases including several murders, violent assaults, and criminal sexual conduct cases. In August 2012, he won the primary election for prosecutor and was sworn in on January 3, 2013. He is a member of the statewide Criminal Justice Policy Commission.
  • Heather Garretson worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuting federal narcotics cases and arguing before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She then practiced white-collar criminal defense before taking a position as a law professor where she continued her interest in criminal law through scholarship and State Bar of Michigan criminal law committees. She now focuses full-time on smart justice reform and speaks nationally on collateral consequences.
  • Chad D. Catalino is the Supervising Attorney of the Misdemeanor Division of the Muskegon County Public Defender’s Office.  A Muskegon native, he graduated from Muskegon Catholic Central, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University Law School. While in law school, he earned a Prosecuting Attorney Association of Michigan (PAAM) internship and completed externships with the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office Prosecuting Attorney Appellate Services Division. He worked as an assistant prosecutor and in private practice before becoming an Assistant Public Defender in the Muskegon County Public Defender’s Office. Among his accomplishments in his current position has been to institute a social worker internship program that has provided clients more effective communication. In 2013, he was awarded the Michigan Foster Care Review Board Child Welfare Parent Attorney of the Year Award.
  • Andy Wible is chair of the MCC Arts and Humanities Department and teaches philosophy, ethics and logic courses at the college. He directs the MCC Ethics Institute. An Indiana native, he has earned three degrees in philosophy, a bachelor’s from Hanover College, a master’s from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University.

For more information on the “…And Justice for All” series, call (231) 777-0266.