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Snyder signs into law parole, probation changes aimed at keeping criminals from reoffending

Jail cell photo
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law criminal justice changes that advocates say are intended to keep criminals from reoffending.

About 30 percent of Michigan's 41,000 inmates return to prison within three years, and half have been locked up for parole or probation violations.

Combating recidivism saves the government money and makes citizens safer, according to backers of the legislation enacted Thursday.

Snyder signed the legislation at a Kalamazoo coffee shop that hires ex-offenders and helps them with life skills such as paying bills.

The laws require the creation of a new parole program with progressively harsher penalties as opposed to sometimes automatically sending released inmates back to prison.

Probationers who commit "technical" violations - not new crimes - will be incarcerated for no more than 30 days per violation.