»    »  

'Evidence-Based' Parole Reforms Signed Into Law

Legislation designed to encourage inmates to rehabilitate themselves with the possibility of parole was signed into law by Gov. Rick SNYDER today. The long-sought reform, originally called "presumptive parole," was originally championed by former Rep. Joe HAVEMAN as a way to incentivize good behavior from inmates by giving them hope of getting out if they behaved and learned a marketable skill. Now with the Hope Network, Haveman praised Snyder and the Department of Corrections for cutting their inmate population by 20 percent in recent years while cutting recidivism rates. "It's not just a moral thing to do, it's an economic benefit," Haveman said. "We have to realize that with 3.5- to 4-percent unemployment, we need every man and woman in the private sector that we can find working. This is another step in the right direction." HB 5377, sponsored by Klint KESTO (R-Commerce Twp.), has been rebranded as "evidence-based" parole as opposed to "presumptive parole," which the Senate saw as opening up the prison doors without substantial checks from the parole board (See "'Evidence-Based' Parole Clears Once Skeptical Senate," 9/5/18). The prosecutors, who have long opposed the reforms, are neutral on the new reform. "As we work to help ex-offenders successfully re-enter society, it's important that we have objective parole guidelines in place to enhance public safety," Snyder said. "This legislation will allow Michigan to safety maintain its successful approach to parole, under which the state's recidivism rate has reached an all-time low."