Commission Considers Sentencing Disparities and Michigan’s Habitual Offender Statute

The June meeting of the Criminal Justice Policy Committee (CJPC) included the introduction of a new chair, the results of new research conducted on sentencing disparities in the state of Michigan and a review of our state’s habitual offender statute. Overseeing her first meeting was the new Chair Amanda Burgess-Proctor, an associate professor of criminal [...]

2019-06-18T12:34:57-04:00June 18th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Sentencing|

The long haul: why long sentences hurt everyone in Michigan

Michigan has seen its prison population fall 23 percent since 2006, when we recorded the largest number of incarcerated people in our state at 51,515. That’s the good news. However, this decline has been offset by a steady increase in the length of stay. Michigan’s prison system has one of the longest average prison sentences [...]

2019-02-27T16:38:41-04:00February 27th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Lifers, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Sentencing|

How short stays have a lasting impact on Michigan prison policy

Here’s a paradox: Michigan is known around the country for having the one of the longest prison sentences in the country, but even so, more than seven out of every 10 people committed to prison in 2017 were sent to serve short sentences of fewer than three years. How can this be, and what does [...]

2019-02-20T11:59:45-04:00February 20th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Sentencing|

Fewer people are going to prison — here’s why

We know by now that Michigan’s prison population is falling. From the high of 51,515 people reached in 2006, our state’s prison population has fallen 23 percent to 39,666 as of the end of 2017. To understand why that is happening, it’s good to examine how that population figure can change. Two things affect that [...]

2019-02-14T14:14:07-04:00February 14th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Sentencing|

Statistics tell the stories

The Michigan Department of Corrections released its 2017 Statistical Report on Jan. 23, 2019. It releases statistical reports annually, and each year they contain hundreds of pages of facts, figures, charts and tables that help paint the picture of Michigan’s criminal justice system. The information covers topics such as how many people are newly sentenced [...]

Court sentences: fair and equal?

If you are ever standing before a judge to be sentenced in Michigan the least you’d hope for is a fair and impartial hearing. You’d never want a judge to decide whether to send you to prison, and for how long, based on factors such as whether you were able to afford your own attorney, [...]

2019-02-06T16:05:59-04:00February 5th, 2019|Categories: Blog, Courts, Sentencing|

Supporting veterans by ensuring their needs are met in the justice system

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, but when that day falls on a weekend, as it does in 2018, the federal holiday is also observed in a weekday, which is why Veterans Day is being observed on Nov. 12 this year. Safe & Just Michigan honors the spirit and sacrifice of all the people who wore [...]

2018-11-10T19:39:45-04:00November 11th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Courts, Mental health, Sentencing, Trauma|

Safe & Just Michigan’s Annual Meeting focuses on moving hearts and minds

Solving the problem of how to get more people to get on board with criminal justice reform was the theme of the night at Safe & Just Michigan’s Annual Membership Meeting and dinner, held Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing. The event, attended by nearly 200 people, featured speakers Leon El-Alamin from [...]

2018-10-24T10:40:51-04:00October 24th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Elderly, Lifers, Parole, Sentencing, Trauma|

Only one was sentenced, but a whole Michigan family does time in “The Sentence,” a documentary on HBO

Rudy Valdez didn’t intend to create an award-winning documentary when he picked up a camera and started filming his niece preparing for her first dance recital. All he wanted to do was capture the moment for the girl’s mother — Rudy’s older sister, Cindy Shank — who had just been sentenced to 15 years in [...]

2018-10-12T16:01:17-04:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Sentencing, Trauma|

History of the felony firearm law

Michigan’s felony firearm law is one of the few offenses in our state that carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence. The law imposes a mandatory sentence of at least two years for possessing a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony. That sentence which must be served before — not during — the [...]

2018-08-27T17:32:41-04:00August 27th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Sentencing|