Safe & Just Michigan’s report, “The Problems of Mandatory Sentencing: The troubling legacy of Michigan’s felony firearm law,” supports the passage of House Bills 5993-5994, which would end the mandatory two-year sentence for a first offense felony firearm conviction, and urges further action to roll back mandatory sentencing.
Key findings from the report include:
- Black people comprise about 14 percent of Michigan’s population, but represent 82 percent of all people incarcerated on a felony firearm sentence as of 2018, the last year for which statistics were available from the Michigan Department of Corrections.
- Courts in Wayne County convicted and sentenced 53.1 of all the people incarcerated on a felony firearm offense, though Wayne County accounts for about 17.5 percent of the state’s population.
- There were 390 people incarcerated for only a felony firearm conviction in Michigan in October 2018.
- More than three-quarters of respondents in a Safe & Just Michigan survey in early 2020 said they support the repeal of mandatory sentencing, and that support is consistent across the political spectrum
- According to legislative analysis conducted in 2015, Michigan taxpayers stand to save as much as $33 million annually if even half as many people as possible were spared incarceration by the passage of HBs 5993-5994.