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Medically frail parole bill passes Michigan Senate

Michigan Senate Chamber
State of Michigan
Michigan Senate Chamber

Michigan’s medically frail prisoners could see a greater chance at parole under a bill passed in the state Senate Tuesday

The bill would apply to people with severe health issues that limit their risk to society, like a terminal illness with a limited life expectancy.

Maria Goellner, with the group Families Against Mandatory Minimums, says there’s a practical reason for the policy: prisoners are aging.

“These folks are the highest cost for the Department of Corrections, to Michigan taxpayers to incarcerate. The older you get, the more medical needs you have.”

Republican state Senator Jim Runestad says he likes the policy idea. But he wishes the bill had more safeguards. For example,

“If a parolee beats whatever gave them the diagnosis, then at that point they should not be allowed to remain on the streets.”

The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.

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