Michigan prisons

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.

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.