On June 10, the Detroit News published an editorial about CAPPS report, “10,000 Michigan prisoners: Strategies to reach the goal“
Nonprofit’s reform recommendations complement Snyder initiative and would cut inmate population by 25 percent, saving $250 million
The Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending is releasing a comprehensive report today with the ambitious but achievable goal of reducing Michigan’s prison population by 10,000. It deserves a close look by Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature.
Examining the key factors that led to the state’s ballooning prison population over the past three decades, CAPPS goes into considerable detail explaining how the problem developed and then extensively outlines suggestions on how to improve the costly situation. Many of the recommendations propose policy changes.
“There is bipartisan recognition of the need to change course, both nationally and in Michigan,” says Barbara R. Levine, the group’s associate director for research and policy. “This report provides a road map that is consistent with Gov. (Rick) Snyder’s call for ‘smart justice…'”
Snyder recently announced his initiative to improve the state’s criminal justice system. The plan includes a section on “Smarter Use of Jails and Prisons” and goes into comprehensive efforts to reduce the prison population through such measures as pretrial reform and diverting people convicted of a crime away from prison and into treatment programs. He also wants to look at sentencing reform, changes in probation and parole policies and revamping the juvenile criminal justice system.
The CAPPS report describes two dozen strategies that it believes will reduce admissions, shorten prison sentences and increase paroles. A nonprofit, nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization, CAPPS works to reduce the social and economic costs of prisons.
It contends that if its plan is fully implemented, the state could shut down seven prisons and save $250 million a year. READ MORE