Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, August 31, 2015

National Bipartisan Group Looking to De-escalate Overpopulation and Overcharging of Offenders in Michigan

What is the latest effort to control prison overpopulation in Michigan?

Prison overpopulation is a nationwide problem, and Michigan is, unfortunately, no exception. In many jurisdictions --, including the federal government – lawmakers have begun the process of re-evaluating the necessity of incarceration for certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. This is particularly true for offenders who are perceived likely to reap greater benefits from rehabilitative than punitive measures.

In August, 2015, the U.S. Justice Action Network opted to focus its national attention on Michigan, hoping to combine advocacy groups from both political parties to seek “sweeping” changes designed to control outrageous costs while benefiting society as a whole.

The group espouses several worthwhile goals within the Michigan Department of Corrections. First, it hopes to find ways to ease offenders back into society, particularly following lengthy prison sentences. In so doing, the group hopes to lower recidivism rates, boost employment, and overall to create a healthy transition from prison to the community.

Secondly, the group plans to examine the problems of overcrowding and “over-criminalization” by reviewing the effectiveness of current policies and penal procedures. To this end, the group plans to examine data concerning sentencing rates to determine whether criminalizing certain offenses is actually the best way to treat offenders in order to achieve long-term success.

According to Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder, the executive branch has already begun outlining plans and ideas for the legislature to consider – which it is slated to do beginning in the Fall of 2015.

As we reported earlier this summer, the Michigan Supreme Court has slowly begun re- examining low-level marijuana crimes, particularly in light of recent advancements in the state’s legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Most recently, the Court clarified uncertainties in the statute with regard to whether unlicensed disbursement of medicinal marijuana to legitimate users had the net effect of creating an illegal drug sale. The Court ruled it did not..

If you are concerned about a recent drug possession charge and would like to discuss your options with a criminal defense attorney, please contact Martin T. Lievois, Attorney at Law at 248-419-1566 or 810-250-4550.  We serve clients throughout the Troy and Flint, Michigan areas with skill and concern.

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