Blog

Pull up a seat at the Criminal Justice CAFE

I had been looking forward to this great opportunity as the new community engagement specialist at Safe & Just Michigan. Then, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put the state under shelter in place status the day after my first day on the job.  I couldn’t help but think about how exactly I could engage the community during [...]

A Discussion on Driver’s License Revocations

The Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration identified the suspension of driver’s licenses for reasons that have nothing to do with unsafe driving as one of the major drivers in Michigan’s jail growth over the past few decades. In 2018, nearly 358,000 people lost their driver’s license for reasons that had nothing [...]

2020-06-24T19:19:11-04:00June 24th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Courts, Diversion, Jails, Sentencing|

MDOC Presentation on Prison Population Decreases due to Covid-19

On Tuesday, June 9, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections held a meeting to discuss the prison population and the Michigan Department of Corrections’ response to the Covid-19 crisis. However, due to pending litigation, the review of the MDOC’s response to Covid-19 is delayed until a future meeting. What can’t be delayed or denied is [...]

2020-06-19T16:06:26-04:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Parole|

A Discussion on Ending Counterproductive Criminal Penalties

The final report of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration found that most arrests in Michigan are for misdemeanors that harmed no one. Research shows police squander many hours and large amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, book and jail people for these minor offenses. For that reason, the task force recommended [...]

2020-06-09T17:37:44-04:00June 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Courts, Jails, Sentencing|

An Evidence-Based Discussion to End the Sex Offender Registry

There are more than 44,000 people on Michigan’s bloated sex offender registry — more people than are incarcerated inside Michigan prisons — and this number grows yearly. For more than 90 percent of people on this list, registration is for 25 years to life. While there is a process to petition for removal from the [...]

2020-06-03T16:56:32-04:00June 3rd, 2020|Categories: Blog, Crime survivors, Mental health, Parole, Recidivism, Reentry, Sex offenses|

How Michigan compares to other states on COVID-19 in prison

Michigan has one of the worst epidemics of COVID-19 in prisons in the country, both in terms of the number of people infected and the number of people who have died of a COVID-19-related illness. The Marshall Project has been tracking how many people incarcerated in prisons in each state have been impacted by the coronavirus. Here's [...]

2020-05-27T20:00:01-04:00May 27th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)|

Blacklisted: The evidence-based reasons to end the sex offender registry

(Please note that portions of this blog use legislative and legal terms that aren’t Safe & Just Michigan’s preferred terminology. Safe & Just Michigan prefers to use humanizing person-first terms. However, as this post deals with pending legislation and existing laws, we are referring to them by their names for the sake of clarity.) Sex [...]

2020-05-25T22:23:17-04:00May 25th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Recidivism, Sex offenses|

The Problematic Division between Violent and Non-Violent Offenses

The division between violent and non-violent offenses has long been used in the criminal justice system, and subsequently, in the reform of the system. In recent years, there has been growing acknowledgement of the problems with this division and the limits of reform if we continue to hold on to this binary. This is important [...]

2020-05-04T12:19:00-04:00May 4th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)|

Meet Rick Speck, Safe & Just Michigan’s New Community Engagement Specialist

For Rick Speck, the process of change relies heavily on role models — both having one and being one. While he was incarcerated, it was the presence of good role models that led Speck, now Safe & Just Michigan’s community engagement specialist, to turn his life around. Once that happened, he realized that he had [...]

2020-04-30T11:48:49-04:00April 30th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Prison programs, Reentry|

The Need to Push Further and the Wall of Truth in Sentencing

The COVID-19 crisis presents an unprecedented challenge to our country that touches on all aspects of our society, including the criminal justice system. Knowing that there is broad public support for protecting incarcerated people in Michigan prisons will help us advise state decision-makers, and helps those elected leaders feel confident as they make their choices. [...]

2020-04-23T14:32:51-04:00April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Blog, Lifers, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Parole, Reentry|