#FF: House Rs lead prison reforms

Categories: Blog Features,Reinventing MI

In this week’s #FollowFriday, we review a package to reform prison sentencing and improve outcomes for Michiganders


Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, is eager to get the legislative ball rolling on prison reform to improve the state’s sentencing guidelines. Aiming to reduce recidivism in the Great Lake State, he has been examining how to keep offenders out of prison and reduce costs, all while keeping the public safe.

House Republicans are eager to save money for all hardworking taxpayers, while helping those who’ve run into trouble with the law recover and return to their place as contributing members of the state. Increasing the efforts to prevent Michiganders from committing crimes—instead of repeatedly punishing offenders— is another focus of Haveman’s work to reform Michigan’s prison sentencing.

Despite spending more than $2 billion to imprison 44,000 offenders annually, four of the nation’s 10 most dangerous cities are in Michigan.

In family-oriented societies, citizens work and contribute to their communities while fostering a shared responsibility for cultivating safer communities. The consequences of locking people up without any plans for their future once they have served their time have been ignored for decades, but it’s time to face the very real need to reintegrate offenders into the local communities.

Less people in prison means less government spending on corrections. We must be more effective at reducing crime, which in turn creates safer communities and fewer victims.

–Rep. Joe Haveman

The legislation specifically addresses first-time and non-violent offenders by restoring a sentencing commission, improving local options for parole and probation violations, defining re-entry programs and reforming habitual offender guidelines.

Fewer crimes being committed means fewer people in prison. Fewer people in prison means lower costs for taxpayers. Prison reform truly is a conservative issue. House Republicans know that with effective prison reform comes more revenue to invest in Michigan’s roads and our children’s schools, so it’s time to get to work.

The package was approved by the House Appropriations Committee this week and awaits further discussion on the House floor. Follow its progress on the Michigan Legislative Website