Bio: Craig DeRoche, executive director of Justice Fellowship
Craig DeRoche's meteoric rise to the pinnacle of Michigan state politics made the front pages when, at age 34, he became the youngest statewide Republican leader in the country and was elected Michigan Speaker of the House. But it was in 2010, after serving a full, term-limited tenure in the state legislature, that DeRoche made national headlines with two alcohol-related arrests revealing a secret he had long tried to keep under wraps.
His struggle with alcoholism began at age 10, and by age 14, DeRoche admits he was a full-blown alcoholic—able to hide the problem from his parents and, later, his constituents and colleagues.
It was only after his arrests, the ensuing rehab and a renewed focus on his Christian faith that DeRoche escaped from his life-long struggle with alcoholism. "I had to have it all taken away so I could follow the path to recovery," he told the Detroit Free Press. DeRoche has been sober since 2010.
After giving a 2011 speech at a national forum on addiction, DeRoche was introduced to Justice Fellowship, the public policy affiliate of Prison Fellowship that advocates for criminal justice reform based on the principles of restorative justice found in the Bible. He was subsequently hired as the organization’s director of external affairs, bringing his experience at advancing policy goals and a national political Rolodex to the job. DeRoche was named vice president of Justice Fellowship in 2012 and executive director in 2014. His first book, Highly Functional, released in May 2015, is a memoir of the period in his life transitioning from addiction to recovery. DeRoche frequently pens op-eds for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Times and The Christian Post.
DeRoche lives in Novi, Michigan, with his wife, Stacey, and three young daughters.
TOPICS OF EXPERTISE
- Criminal justice reform
- Prisoner reentry
- Second Chance Act
- Alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders
- Overcoming addiction and substance abuse
- Graduated with bachelor’s degree in business from Central Michigan University at age 20
- Twice elected to the Novi, Michigan, city council prior to his three terms in the state legislature
- Former insurance business owner
- Active participant and volunteer in addiction recovery efforts, programs and events