In May, the Council of State Governments Justice Center provided its report to the Michigan Law Revision Commission. The CSG report provides the Commission with ” . . . areas for policy development, including opportunities to improve the state’s sentencing system to achieve more consistency and predictability in sentencing outcomes, stabilize and lower costs for the state and counties, and direct resources to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.”
Click link to read the CSG report: Applying a Justice Reinvestment Approach to Improve Michigan’s Sentencing-System.
CAPPS’s response to the CSG report:
On June 2, 2014, CAPPS released its analysis of the report and the policy options provided. In addition, it developed a list of Proposed Principles for sentencing and corrections reform. CAPPS notes that: “The research findings in CSG’s May 2014 report and the presentations that preceded it are enormously important, well-presented and rich in details. They will be useful in pursuing a variety of reforms, including those not expressly recommended in this report.
However, CSG’s recommendations for change could take years to implement. None would impact the current prisoner population. As a result, neither the size of the prisoner population nor the cost of corrections would be reduced in the immediate future. Nor would any current prisoners receive relief from the disparities and inconsistencies that CSG has so effectively identified.”
CAPPS recommends three critical policy reforms:
- Reinstate a sentencing commission that could address a wide range of corrections policy issues.
- Require the parole board to release people who have served their minimum sentences who do not pose a current threat to public safety, based on objective measures (presumptive parole).
- Restore objectivity, transparency and accountability to the parole review process for parolable lifers.
These reforms would safely reduce the current and future prisoner population, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions a year – without affecting public safety.
Click link to read the sentencing commission bill (CAPPS supports broadening the scope of the commission via amendments to this bill), House Bill 5078.
Click link to read about CAPPS proposed Presumptive parole reforms.
More information about the CAPPS reforms can be found under the Issues table of this website. Join CAPPS by clicking here. You will receive ongoing information about reforms, events and how you can help build the movement to end mass incarceration!