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Michigan Senate approves broad criminal justice bills

The Michigan Senate has overwhelmingly approved wide-ranging legislation that is aimed at keeping criminals from re-offending. Supporters say the bills - the first approved in the new two-year term - would keep communities safer and save the state money by implementing evidence-based practices.

About half of those entering the prison system each year are parole or probation violators.

Proposals OK'd Thursday include limiting how long offenders can be incarcerated for technical violations of their probation and more clearly establishing sanctions for parole violators.

Another bill would require the Michigan Corrections Department to house 18- to 22-year-old inmates with other prisoners in the same age range.

Legislators also want to define recidivism to better measure if anti-recidivism programs are working.

The legislation will next be considered by the House.