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Tue May 12, 2009
State Senate committee passes corrections bills
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - A state Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to send to the floor a set of bills designed to lower corrections costs to the state.
The bills would require reports from the state's parolee tracking system.
They would also introduce more far reaching programs between church congregations and prisoners preparing to reenter society.
The senators say reducing the percentage of people who return to prison after they are let go is essential to lowering the financial burden on the state.
Judge Daniel Ryan of Michigan's third circuit court says letting non-violent offenders go early won't help a budget deficit.
"The problem is, the program as I see it doesn't reduce or eliminate budget deficits, it only defers and arguably increases societal and corrections costs."
Ryan says every time he has to send a person back to prison it is a cost to the state.
He says he sentences people to prison for a reason, and whether or not their crime was non-violent they are still harmful to society.