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The Release of Prisoners in Michigan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessica Deloach   
Monday, 16 November 2009 00:52

Many budget cuts have occurred along with the state of the economy in Michigan. One of the current debates is based on the fact that prisoners are being released into society on or before before their minimum sentence and this has been a huge issue for Michigan citizens. Many prisoners are being let out on parole and integrated back into society even though they were put in prison for violent acts that, if repeated, could be very detrimental to society. Citizens are concerned for their safety because of these premature releases.

According to Kristin Longley of the Flint Journal, "Law enforcement officials say the state is sacrificing public safety by releasing more prisoners - including murderers, rapists and other violent criminals - when their minimum sentences are up" (Longley). Although this action saves the state a great amount of money and helps in the attempt to balance the budget, one wonders if public safety is something that should be forfeited. Another issue that comes with this debate is the fact that there is very short notice by the Parole Board as to when these criminals will be released into society. This summer, Oakland Country Prosecutor Jessica Cooper successfully sued Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) due to the fact that she had such difficulty obtaining a list of parolees. "The 27-page lawsuit...said the prosecutor's office has been rebuffed several times -- both informally and pursuant to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act -- by the MDOC when it asked for a list of inmates to be interviewed...for potential early release" (Sentencing Law and Policy). It seems that if MDOC is going to release all of these dangerous individuals, the Prosecutor's office should at least have time to refute this release rather than it be sprung on them without the opportunity to fight against it.

Which is more important to the Governor and Michigan - public safety or a balanced budget? The rights of criminals or the rights of innocent citizens and their children who are also put in danger? Is the Prisoner ReEntry Initiative a success?

 

Sources:

Longley, Kristin. Debate rages over release of prisoners in Genesee County. Flint Journal. 15 November 2009.http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/11/debate_rages_over_release_of_p.html

Sentencing Law and Policy. Local Michigan prosecutor suing state for parole release data. 25 June 2009. http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2009/06/local-michigan-prosecutor-suing-state-for-parole-release-data.html

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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