“The recent Free Press series (“Free to kill”) is sensationalized, misleading and unbalanced. Before policymakers react, it is crucial that they assess the content realistically and place the implications in a meaningful context.
- The inflammatory image of large numbers of released prisoners roaming the streets assaulting and murdering citizens at will is wholly unsupported by the facts.
- If that image is allowed to drive policymaking, needed corrections reforms and the opportunity to reduce prison spending will be set back by years.
- Michigan has made great progress in reducing its prison population and containing its corrections spending. There is no evidence that this progress has compromised public safety.
- The MDOC is already responding to the number of high profile cases by slowing the grant of paroles and returning more parole violators to prison. Our prison population — and prison spending – are once again starting to rise, even though crime rates, including violent crimes, fell steadily from 2007-2011.”