Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Michigan: Taking Criminal Justice Reform Seriously

The Associated Press reports Michigan lawmakers are aiming at "keeping the more than 100,000 criminals under state supervision from committing new crimes, a move one supporter called a 'milestone' shift in the treatment of offenders."

One proposal "would limit the length of incarceration for offenders who violate their probation." Another would "create a more intensive parole program with progressively harsher penalties for violating the terms of parole as opposed to automatically sending parolees back to prison." Another bill "would explicitly let judges reduce probationers' length of supervision for good behavior." There are also attempts to "officially define what recidivism means and require precise data on whether offenders on probation or parole are committing new crimes or committing technical violations such as failing to report for a visit with an officer or abusing a substance."

The goal? To "keep minor criminals out of county jails and state prisons that can be 10 times more expensive than supervising probationers and parolees." The piece interestingly notes that "about half" of the state's 41,000 prisoners are "locked up for parole or probation violations." See full story here.

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