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AFP Applauds Senate Passage of Criminal Justice Reform Bills that Keep Civil Liberties, Police Discretion and Community Safety at the Forefront

Dec 3, 2020 by AFP

Group urges decisive action on remainder of jail and pre-trial reforms before end of year

Lansing, Mich. — Americans for Prosperity-Michigan (AFP-MI) today applauded state Senators after their passage of seven bills related to the recommendations of the Jail & Pre-Trial Task Force.

SB 1046-1051 and SB 1125 arose from recommendations introduced by the state’s bipartisan Jail & Pre-Trial Task force earlier this year. The bills allow police greater flexibility to issue tickets instead of making arrests, allow judges greater discretion over sentencing and warrants for non-violent offenses, raise the age limit on the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act so young people who make mistakes have a better shot at a true second chance, and create mental health training standards for corrections officers.

AFP-MI Community Engagement Director Diana Prichard had this to say:

“Michigan policymakers have the opportunity to end the year by coming together in support of reforms that will enhance respect for personal liberty, improve community safety, keep people gainfully employed, reduce expensive over-crowding in our jails of non-violent offenders, and show police officers respect by allowing them greater discretion over who they arrest and who gets a ticket to take to court later instead.”

Lawmakers have to move quickly now to get these done by the end of the year. There are only six session days left. This package has to go through committee and a floor vote in the house before they can be sent to the governor. Meanwhile, the Senate still needs to vote on twelve bills that will make critical changes to the way we handle counterproductive driver’s license suspensions that do not improve public safety and remove mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level misdemeanors.”

Michigan’s Jail & Pre-Trial Task Force spent 2019 studying jail and pre-trial incarceration in Michigan before releasing its findings and recommendations in January of this year. The recommendations are supported by a broad-bipartisan coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum, including AFP-MI’s grassroots network. The chapter has been engaged in community education and mobilization on criminal justice throughout the legislature’s two-year session and continues to host virtual events and citizen contact efforts. Upcoming events include two telephone town halls AFP-MI is co-hosting with ACLU-MI. The first will take place tonight, the second next Thursday, December 10.