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Snyder Signs Parole Changes

Legislation requiring Michigan's Parole Board to provide substantial and compelling objective reasons in writing when the Department of Corrections' guidelines are not followed has been signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. The legislation (HB 5377) is designed to assure persons the Department of Corrections determines have a high probability of success upon release from prison are not kept in prison for no reason other than just to hold them until their maximum release date. The bill sets forth 11 specific substantial and compelling reasons the Parole Board could cite when denying parole to someone Corrections staff determined has a high probability of success. It is a different approach to the same issue the defunct "presumptive parole" bill from a previous term tried to address. Prisoners serving life sentences are ineligible, and the new guidelines only apply to those imprisoned after the bill takes effect December 12. "As we work to help ex-offenders successfully reenter society, it's important that we have objective parole guidelines in place to enhance public safety," Mr. Snyder said in a statement. "This legislation will allow Michigan to safely maintain its current successful approach to parole, under which the state's recidivism rate has reached an all-time low."