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Michigan Senate proposes plan to cut recidivism, save money

Jail cell
Stefano Mazzone via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

Supporters of newly introduced criminal justice bills in the Michigan Senate say they are designed to keep prisoners from reoffending, ultimately saving taxpayers money on incarceration costs.

Proposals in the bipartisan package include defining recidivism in the law, changing the state Department of Corrections' name to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and incentivizing a reduction in parole and probation revocations.

Other bills would expedite medical commutation hearings and house 17- to -22-year-old inmates together instead of with older adults.

Republican Sen. John Proos of St. Joseph says half the prison population is made up of parole and probation violators, and it's time for "smarter justice reforms" to break the cycle of incarceration.

The legislation was announced Tuesday and soon could be considered in committee hearings.

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