Criminal Justice Reform Signed By Governor Whitmer
A new bill has been signed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer giving those who commit minor crimes the chance to avoid jail time.
According to WOOD, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers supported the changes that were recommendations that came from the Michigan Joint Task Force on jail and pretrial incarcerations.
The MJTF spent a year researching jails and those incarcerated along with taking in input from the public regarding alternatives for certain minor misdemeanors.
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist who was one the key leaders in the task force told WOOD, "for the last generation, we've seen our jail population skyrocket while crime go down over the last 30 years.
One of the laws that has been added is that if you get your license suspended for reasons not related to dangerous driving, you will no longer be put into jail.
Gilchrist told News 8, "people who were locked up for license suspensions when the licenses were taken away for things that had nothing to do with how they drove. These packages of bills that the governor signed into law today are really first steps toward reforming that system and ending that vicious cycle."
Like Whitmer or not, giving people a chance to avoid jail time and to clear their records of minor offenses is a big deal all across the state of Michigan. It was also good to see Michigan Republicans and Democrats working together and getting something done.
There is a huge expense for putting people behind bars not to mention not all crimes merit time in jail where more dangerous criminals should be.
Hopefully these new laws don't come with extra fines in order to avoid the jail time when not necessary to begin with. It is nice to see the state move in a positive direction when dealing with minor crimes that are non-violent in the first place.