Criminal Justice Reforms Set For State Senate Passage

Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation that aims to keep 100,000 criminals who are under state supervision from breaking the law again. The 20-bill package passed by the House Wednesday limits the length of incarceration for offenders who violate their probation and creates a more intensive parole program. Senator John Proos sponsored several of the bills.

“It’s a package of bills that we’ve worked on for three or four years now,” Proos tells WSJM. “Over the years in the Legislature, I’ve continued to put together the best practices of other states and ask questions as to why we are not implementing some of them.”

Backers are hoping the measures in part will save money. The legislation also would officially define what recidivism means. The bills cleared the Senate last month and should reach Governor Snyder quickly once the Senate OKs changes Thursday. The House’s main revision was dropping a proposed requirement to house younger prisoners together instead of with older inmates. The House failed to pass a Senate measure that would give employers a grant for hiring ex-felons, but it could try again later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.