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+00:00February 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+00:00February 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+00:00November 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+00:00October 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+00:00October 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+00:00August 27th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Sentencing|

Felony firearm in Michigan: A case study in what’s wrong with mandatory minimums

Much of the national criminal justice reform conversation focuses on mandatory minimum sentences because they often result in harsh outcomes for people and our criminal justice system. Mandatory minimums require judges to impose a specific minimum prison sentence whenever someone is convicted of a given crime. This removes the judge’s ability to tailor the sentence [...]

2018-08-27T14:33:56+00:00August 7th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Racial equity, Sentencing|

A new mission expands our policy work

There is a buzz in our office. It is the excitement from publicly launching our new name, Safe & Just Michigan. As a Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending supporter – aka CAPPS, you likely have received our communications, such as our e-newsletter, discussing the reasons for the change. We would like to provide [...]

2018-06-13T09:38:58+00:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Community reinvestment, Corrections budget, Parole, Reentry, Sentencing, Trauma|