Michigan prisons

A Michigan man who spent four decades in prison for the 1975 killing of a woman in Detroit has been released because prosecutors are no longer confident in the hair evidence used to convict him.

Pathways to Prison title image
Courtesy / DPTV

"Pathways to Prison" airs Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on WKAR-TV. It takes an in-depth look at several reasons that lead to 41,000 people incarcerated in Michigan, the most in the midwest. 


John Proos photo
WKAR-MSU file photo

Advocates and lawmakers gathered Wednesday in Lansing with the message that there are too many people incarcerated and too few opportunities for inmates to reform themselves upon release.

Flickr - Ben

A federal lawsuit claims state prison guards joked and made a bet on whether an inmate would try to kill herself before she took her own life.

Ahead of Miller parole hearing, a victim speaks

Aug 29, 2016
Donald Miller photo
Courtesy photo / Lansing State Journal

This week, serial killer Donald Miller meets with the parole board about a possible release from prison. Miller confessed to killing four people. We talk with Lansing State Journal reporter Beth LeBlanc and with Randy Gilbert, who survived one of the attacks.


Jail cells photo
Julie, Dave & Family / flickr creative commons

We talk with Barbara Levine of the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending about prison reforms being considered in Lansing.


Pixabay photo

How do children cope with having a parent behind bars? A new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds 10 percent of Michigan children have an incarcerated parent. We talk about the impact on families -and potential solutions- with Alicia Guevara Warren of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Wikimedia Commons

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life in prison without parole for juvenile offenders was unconstitutional. On Monday, the court said that ruling applies to people currently serving sentences for crimes they committed as minors. Current State talks to both a prison reform proponent and a victims’ rights advocate about their reaction to the decision. 

Letters from MI juvenile lifers share sorrow, hope

Dec 2, 2015
Chris Miller / flickr creative commons

The U.S. Supreme Court is studying whether to offer a chance at freedom to offenders sentenced to mandatory life terms as juveniles. Current State talks with Lansing-based reporter Craig Mauger of MIRS News. He exchanged letters with Michigan inmates who could be impacted.


Courtesy Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to an attorney. But underfunded and disjointed public defense systems means that low income people accused of a crime don’t get adequate representation in court. A new set of standards from the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission hopes to change that.


Youth Behind Bars report cover image
Courtesy image / Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency

There’s been increasing scrutiny in recent years of how Michigan treats juveniles who are tried and convicted as adults in the state’s justice system. A bipartisan coalition of Michigan lawmakers is proposing big changes to the way the state handles these cases. We talk to Sen. Rick Jones, one of the sponsors of the bill package being introduced Wednesday, and Kristen Staley, Associate Director of Youth Justice Policy for the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.


Hugh Clarke Jr. photo
Courtesy photo / Ingham County District Court

One of the criminal justice issues being discussed during this year’s One Book, One Community program is mandatory minimum sentences. The Michigan Supreme Court eliminated mandatory minimums earlier this year. We talk with District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. and MSU criminal justice professor Christopher Smith in advance of a forum on the subject tonight.


New MI corrections chief weighs in on reform proposals

Jul 17, 2015
Heidi Washington photo
Courtesy Michigan Department of Corrections

Prison reform is one of Michigan’s hottest ongoing topics. As the discussion continues, an East Lansing resident takes the helm of the Department of Corrections. Current State speaks with Heidi Washington.


The state is cutting ties with Aramark and starting fresh with a new company to provide food service to Michigan prisons. Current State talks with Michigan Public Radio Network Statehouse Bureau Chief Rick Pluta.


Dana Liebelson photo
http://www.dliebelson.com/

Current State talks with Huffington Post reporter Dana Liebelson about her recent article about juvenile offenders in Michigan’s prison system and the challenges facing reporters covering the prison system.


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