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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

US Attorney Miles Talks Judicial Reform at NAACP Event

Mariano Avila


US Attorney Patrick Miles focused his presentation on the efforts to help ex-convicts re-enter society and to unnecessary federal sentences for nonviolent offenders whose case could be handled by the state. For example:

“We are going to charge the drug trafficking organizations, the people who are part of an organization selling drugs. A small quantity in the possession of an individual, that’s really not a federal case.”

Miles also said Michigan’s recidivism rate, that’s people who land back in prison after being released, is about 31 percent, or one in three. That’s only half the national rate. But Miles says Michigan’s rate should actually be less than ten percent.

“I mean, when you look at the number of citizens in the US alone that are incarcerated, it’s dismal. And so clearly we have some work to do, but I think we’ll continue.”

That’s Cle Jackson, President of the Grand Rapids branch of the NAACP, he organized the event and said it was a primer for Benjamin Jealous, former president of the national NAACP, who will speak tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Fountain Street Church.

Mariano Avila is WGVU's inclusion reporter. He has made a career of bringing voices from the margins to those who need to hear them. Over the course of his career, Mariano has written for major papers in English and Spanish, published in magazines, worked in broadcast, and produced short films, commercials, and nonprofit campaigns. He also briefly served at a foreign consulate, organized for international human rights efforts and has done considerable work connecting marginalized people to religious, educational, and nonprofit institutions through the power of story.
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