Gov. Snyder announces criminal justice intiatives

Gov. Rick Snyder gave an outline of criminal justice successes in Michigan and plans for future reforms. Read the text of his announcement speech.

Highlights of Snyder’s speech:

• We shouldn’t think in terms of being weak or harsh on crime. Michigan should strive for “smart justice” that acknowledges that most people in prisons will be released back into communities.

• Sentencing improvement efforts should be on-going, not one-time, isolated events.

• There are many archaic laws on our books that need to be examined.

• How can prisoners be better trained for jobs on the outside? Prison work should “replicate the outside world as much as possible.” Prisoner pay should be increased, which could help inmates pay restitution. MDOC should assist inmates in obtaining documents like a social security card and a birth certificate before parole to help them secure a job. Also, try to set up interviews early so inmates possibly have jobs upon discharge.

Snyder also spoke on improving communications with victims, law enforcement diversity and problem-solving courts, such as drug court.

We’ll keep you updated.