House Bill 5377, sponsored by Representative Klint Kesto (R – District 39), will establish an objective parole process. The bill will promote consistency in the parole process, while preserving the parole board’s ability to deny parole to anyone for objective public safety reasons.

On April 10, 2018, the House Law and Justice Committee voted by an overwhelming bipartisan majority (9 yes votes and 3 passes), to send HB 5377 to the full House for consideration. CAPPS’s applauds Rep. Kesto’s leadership in advancing this evidence-based parole policy.

Amendments to the original bill

The bill voted out of committee was drafted in consultation with numerous stakeholders — including the Michigan Department of Corrections and Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan. The bill that was voted out of the committee today included several amendments to address concerns raised through this collaborative process. These amendments:

  • Remove references to specific reasons to deny parole that were considered “subjective”;
  • Add the following to the list of substantial and compelling reasons to deny parole to a low-risk person: 1) lack of an adequate parole plan, and 2) a recent psychiatric evaluation that finds an individual poses a high risk to public safety
  • Allow the parole board to deny parole to someone convicted of first degree criminal sexual assault if there is not sufficient evidence that the individual will not pose a public safety threat.

CAPPS does not believe all of these modifications were necessary to protect public safety. However, in the interest of winning a reform bill based on a collaborative process with important stakeholders that will help many thousands of prisoners, we support the bill, as amended.

After a vote on HB 5377 by the full House of Representatives, it moves to a Senate Committee, the full Senate and, then, hopefully, onto the Governor’s desk for his signature.

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Read>> HB 5377 would make parole process more objective
Read>> House Law and Justice Committee hears testimony on objective parole
Read>> House Fiscal Agency’s Legislative Analysis dated April 10, 2018