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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rep. Cushingberry sponsors legislation allowing reduced time credits for good behavior and, segregating young offenders in Corrections Dept.

Press Release From
The Friends of State Rep. George Cushingberry Jr.

Date: Wednesday, 2/24/2010
Time: 10:30AM
Location: 521 House Office Building, Lansing, MI 48933
Event: Judiciary Committee Meeting
Clerk Phone Number 517-373-7256

House Bills 4497, 4498, and 4499
Credit for good behavior time and segregating youthful offenders at the Department of Corrections.

Representative Cushingberry has sponsored 3 house bills designed to reduce the $2 billion dollar a year Department of Corrections budget by removing non violent offenders out of the system who show remorse, forgiveness, and a willingness to change their destructive ways. It will also remove and segregate youthful offenders into separate facilities, removing them from the general adult population. In order to accomplish this Mr. Cushingberry is asking the Department of Corrections to produce the following information in a summary report for the time period from 2000-2009.

1. The total number and percentage of offenders that never return to the system after serving their sentence. This number will be subdivided into the categories of age in 10 year increments, race, and sex.
a. A prisoner who completes their time on parole
b. A prisoner who completes their time who is not offered parole.
2. The number and percentage of all offenders in the system that are under mental health treatment. This information will be sub divided by the following categories:
a. Offender status (incarcerated, parole, etc)
b. Age grouped in 10 year increments, race, sex,
c. By type of medicine
3. For steps #1 and #2 summary information shall be grouped by year.

HB 4497 will remove young offenders from the general population of adult prisoners who will totally abuse the youthful offenders. On a case by case basis each prisoner is reviewed for possible sentence reduction based on monitored behaviors and remorse for their crime (HB4498). If they violate this then they will be quickly returned to the system with increased penalties. (HB 4499)

For too long the Department of Corrections and law enforcement personnel have been used as surrogate employees for mental health treatment. The jails have been used to house some these people who are truly in need of help. The local police and fire resources are used to pick up these people and clog the judicial system. To correct these imbalance resources can be shifted from corrections to mental health treatment facilities in a joint partnership agreement.

We want to identify and separate an individual between being a criminal or, a person in need of continued mental health treatment.

These bills are all “tied together” meaning that they all dependent upon each other to be approved to become law.

A brief summary of each bill is listed below. A full text reading can be viewed by clicking on the bill number:

HB4497 Establishes a youth correctional facility which shall house only prisoners committed to the jurisdiction of the department who are 19 years of age or less.

HB4498 A record of all major misconduct charges for which a prisoner has been found guilty shall be maintained and given to the parole board as part of the parole eligibility report. This record will allow parole board members apply time reduction for good behavior and redemption while in the Corrections System.

HB4499 If a person has been convicted of any combination of 3 or more felonies or attempts to commit felonies, whether the convictions occurred in this state or would have been for felonies or attempts to commit felonies in this state if obtained in this state, and that person commits a subsequent felony within this state, the person shall be punished upon conviction of the subsequent felony and sentencing under section 13 of this chapter

Our friend George is inviting all interested citizens and organizations to appear in person, send an e-mail, or call your State Representative(click here to find your state rep) to show support for these bills. When sending an e-mail please place the house bill number(s) in the subject. (Ex. Subject: HB 44XX Support/Oppose)

Oral and written testimony will be heard and documented for the record. If you cannot attend in person, please include your name, organization, and other contact information in your correspondence.

State Rep. George Cushingberry Jr.
S0687 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-2276
Fax: (517) 373-7186
Toll-Free (888) 347-8008

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