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  • Criminal Justice

    Roadside Drug Testing

    Senate Bill 0434 was introduced by Senator Tom Casperson (R, Dist. 38), Senator Rick Jones (R, Dist. 24), and Senator Mike Nofs (R, Dist. 19). The Bill outlines a pilot program to use preliminary drug testing at roadside stops. This would be accomplished through the use of a tool that would test the saliva of an individual in order to determine whether that individual was impaired due to drugs, opiates, etc. After the states of California and Colorado made cannabis use legal, they began to use t…

    Michigan’s Concealed Carry Law

     

    The state of Michigan allows its residents to carry a handgun concealed on their person if they have obtained a concealed carry permit. Michigan is a “shall issue” state. This means that if you are over 21 years old, a US citizen or lawful alien, a Michigan resident, have taken a handgun safety course, and have not been found guilty of a felony or certain misdemeanors within 3-8 years, dependent on the charge, then you are able to obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of Michigan.

     

    Read more: Michigan’s...

    How Mental Health Courts Benefit Mentally Ill Criminals

     

    Mental health is a deeply complex issue that can lead to a multitude of problems impacting states and the US as a whole. Mental illness is linked to drug addiction and abuse, increased criminal activity, severe acts of violence, and an overall lower quality of life. The state of Michigan has taken action to implement programs to target drug users and the mentally ill to improve their quality of life and keep people that need treatment, not incarceration, out of jail. Drug addiction and mental

    Prison Privatization Services Debate

    What we know about the debate concerning the privatization of prisons in our state is that it is a hotly debated and contentious issue. In Michigan the limit of privatization has been, with the exception of one facility, contained to prison food services. The move for this switchover happened in 2013 and the vendor took over in the 32 state prisons The basics of the working agreement was that the vendor would provide service and MDOC would send out contract monitors to ensure that contract compl

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    Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative

    A major struggle faced in the state of Michigan that often goes unheard of is the ability to implement a successful program that allows inmates of prisons to reenter society as productive and successful citizens while avoiding their return back to prison. In our state, the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative (MPRI) was established in 2005 in an effort to reduce recidivism by identifying what resources an inmate may need as soon as they are initially incarcerated to stop their criminal activity

    Read more: Michigan Prisoner...

    Criminal Justice

    • Roadside Drug Testing

      Senate Bill 0434 was introduced by Senator Tom Casperson (R, Dist. 38), Senator Rick Jones (R, Dist. 24), and Senator Mike Nofs (R, Dist. 19). The Bill outlines a pilot program to use preliminary drug...
    • Michigan’s Concealed Carry Law

        The state of Michigan allows its residents to carry a handgun concealed on their person if they have obtained a concealed carry permit. Michigan is a “shall issue” state. This mean...
    • How Mental Health Courts Benefit Mentally Ill Criminals

        Mental health is a deeply complex issue that can lead to a multitude of problems impacting states and the US as a whole. Mental illness is linked to drug addiction and abuse, increased crimina...
    • Prison Privatization Services Debate

      What we know about the debate concerning the privatization of prisons in our state is that it is a hotly debated and contentious issue. In Michigan the limit of privatization has been, with the except...
    • Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative

      A major struggle faced in the state of Michigan that often goes unheard of is the ability to implement a successful program that allows inmates of prisons to reenter society as productive and successf...
    • Interview with Daniel Heyns, Director of Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)

        The following is a transcript conducted via email by Jameson Joyce, a Political Science/Criminal Justice major at Michigan State University, and Daniel Heyns, Director of Michigan Department of C...
    • Michigan’s Kelsey Smith Law

      Michigan House Bill 4006 (HB 4006) of 2015, also known as the Kelsey Smith Law, would allow wireless carriers to provide law enforcement officers with location data of wireless users in emergency situ...
    • Analysis of the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative

      A little known, but important current issue in Michigan concerns the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative (MPRI). True to the name of the initiative, this policy is designed to prepare former lawbreak...
    • Efforts to Reduce Michigan’s Prison Population through Sentencing and Parole Reform

      After Michigan’s record high prison population in 2007 of 51,554 there were five consecutive years of decline in the inmate population followed by two years of small growth in 2012 and 2013 resulti...
    • Has Privatization in Prisons Saved Michiganders Money?

      The cost of “law and order” in Michigan has become too expensive. The state spends over $34,000 per year on each inmate in state prison; while some states spend more than this, others spend much less....
    • “Profiting from Probation” in Michigan

      Earlier this year Human Rights Watch published a report exposing abuses committed by offender-funded private probation companies—businesses hired by local governments to supervise and electronically m...
    • Inmates’ Families Bear Costs of Phone Calls, Money Transfers, Care Packages

      Debates about privatizing prison food service, healthcare, and prisons themselves have generated significant press coverage in Michigan. But other businesses whose profits are intimately tied to Michi...
    • Does the Privatization Debate Obscure More Important Questions About Corrections in Michigan?

      Does the Privatization Debate Obscure More Important Questions About Corrections in Michigan? Over the last month Michigan Policy Network has published a series of articles looking at privatization i...
    • Interview with Merissa Kovach, American Civil Liberties Union

      Q: First of all, could you tell me a little about yourself?A: I’m a Field Organizer with the ACLU of Michigan and work in our Legislative Department. I’m a graduate of MSU’s James Madison College. I’v...
    • Juvenile Life Sentences

      Between the state Legislature and the state Supreme Court, mandatory life sentences for juveniles for certain crimes have become a hot topic of controversy in Michigan in the wake of a 2012 U.S. Supre...
    • Too Much Money Spent on State Prisons

      Commentary Michigan, referred to as the “automobile” state a long time ago, is not in very good standing nowadays. Michigan used to be widely known for its thriving automobile industry, but now when p...
    • Sentencing Guidelines in the Great Lakes States

      From 1975 through 1980 American sentencing laws and practices experienced more extensive changes than any other 5-year period in American history. Ten states abolished their parole boards, fifteen sta...
    • Sentencing Guideline Comparison

      The state of Michigan has implemented sentencing guidelines in its court system along with several other states. They are designed to increase consistency in sentencing so that similarly situated offe...
    • Interview with Kirk Herman Regarding the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative

      The following interview took place over e-mail from March 2011 through April 2011. Kirk Herman, was convicted in 1997 of driving drunk and causing the death of a childhood friend who was seated behind...
    • Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative Retains Support

      In February, Governor Rick Snyder introduced the Executive Budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Overall, the Department of Corrections received a slight increase for FY 2012 and 4.3 percent increase...
    • Drug Sentencing

      In late 2005, the state of Michigan underwent a repeal of several mandatory minimum laws, mostly for drug offenses and the option for earlier parole. Although this represents a significant departure ...
    • Corrections Largely Escape Snyder's Budget Ax

      Michigan Governor Rick Snyder released his budget proposal for 2012 and 2013 on Thursday February, 17th. Most experts expected to see correction cuts to be somewhere around $400 million, however, the ...
    • Truth in Sentencing Plan

      The state of Michigan has awarded prisoners early release from captivity due to good behavior for a long time, just like many other states. In 1978, an initiative petition prohibited prisoners from th...
    • DEA Demands MI's Records on Medical Marijuana

      The regulation of medical marijuana is facing yet another issue. The Drug Enforcement Administration is demanding medical marijuana records from Michigan’s Department of Community Health as part of an...
    • Overview: Office of Community Alternatives

      The Office of Community Alternatives was created in 1988 as an independent agency within the Michigan Department of Corrections. The main goals of this organization are to reduce admissions to prison,...
    • Wayne County commissioners to vote on $700m for new jail

      Wayne County, MI is considering two sites near Greektown to build a justice complex with a projected cost of $700 million. This complex would house both a $300 million jail and a $400 million court un...
    • Proposed Change in Evidence Rules

      Wayne County prosecutor, Kym Worthy, is trying to change Michigan's court rules to keep prisoners from presenting new evidence after one year of their initial conviction. She believes new post-convict...
    • Teen Court

      In high schools across southeastern Michigan, a new organization is slowly being introduced. Teen court is a program that enables high school students to sentence their peers who have committed smalle...
    • Prison Release Proposal

      A major issue in the Criminal Justice policy area is the releasing of prisoners. This may mean setting convicted murders free on the street to commit more crime and violence. This is exactly the thoug...
    • Early Release for Budget Savings?

      With the State of Michigan facing a $1.7 billion budget shortfall this next fiscal year, the government is looking for ways to balance the budget without cutting too many services. One of the options...
    • Legal Duels in Michigan?

      Currently in Michigan there is a ban on the crime of dueling. Representatives Wheeler-Smith, Sheltrown, and LeBlanc have proposed House Bills 6135, 6136, and 6137 respectively. These bills would rep...
    • Marijuana Driving Cases

      Approximately 6,000 people in Michigan are legally using medical marijuana and another 59 applications are submitted to the health department every day. In addition, at any one given time there are co...
    • Becoming Arizona? Michigan's Fight for Tougher Immigration Laws

      Arizona, a state not most often talked about in the news, has been put on the spot lately. The reason? A new law, SB 1070, which gives Arizona officers the authority to stop and detain people if they ...
    • Additional Sex Offender Registration Fees Proposed

      In the case of many policy issues, Michigan's Legislature acts like the United States Congress in the way of responding to a problem brought forth by the media and the citizens, as opposed to promotin...
    • Proposal for Prosecuting Attorneys to Carry Pistols in "No-Carry Zones"

      House Bill 4982 was introduced last year on the 21st of May to amend the Handgun Licensure Act of 1927 by Representative Jim Slezak concerning the carrying of a concealed pistol. If passed, it would a...
    • Court Ruling Alters the Criminal Justice System

      A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court addressed issues in the policy area of law crime that could greatly change the way Michigan's criminal justice system operates. They ruled that the s...
    • Michigan's Prison Situation

      The state of Michigan has been known for its large intake of prisoners and felons in the past decade. With one of the largest prison populations in the country Michigan is looking to change its image ...
    • Anti-Bullying Policy in Michigan

      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The goals of this policy report are to deliver and analyze the issues that come along with establishing an anti-bullying law in the state of Michigan and to subsequently deliver a r...
    • DNA Testing In Michigan

      Previously in the state of Michigan, if an individual was arrested for a crime and law enforcement wanted to obtain that individual's DNA to aid in their investigation, they would need to obtain a war...
    • Michigan spends more on prisons than on higher education

      According to an editorial in the Detroit Free Press, Michigan is one of only 4 states that issues a greater portion of its budget to prisons than to higher education. This article also describes some ...
    • 2010 Gubernatorial Candidates on Criminal Justice

      Michigan's 2010 Gubernatorial race is currently underway and it seems that the Republican candidates already have an advantage over their Democratic rivals. The primary is on August 3, 2010 and the el...
    • Proposed Changes Require Attorneys for Michigan Juveniles

      Currently in Michigan a juvenile delinquent can be assigned an attorney by the state if the child's legal guardian refuses to take part in the proceedings, the child's parents are in the complaint in ...
    • Mental Health Courts

      In the opinion of some individuals, incarcerating someone who is mentally handicapped will do nothing to improve their way of life or the way they look at situations, which would in turn, be futile to...
    • Interview with Senator Alan Cropsey on Prisons

      Davis: Hello Senator Cropsey! Thank you for allowing me to conduct this interview with you today! Cropsey: Thank you Jamia for having me! It is definitely my pleasure! Davis: No problem! We shall ge...
    • Information-led policing

      According to The Detroit News article on the Detroit murder toll, Police Chief Evans discussed some of his new policy implementations. In this description, he described the increased reliance on stati...
    • Overflow of Pennsylvania prisons saves Michigan jobs

      Pennsylvania agreed to send about 2,000 inmates to a Michigan medium-security prison in Muskegon last week. This prison was on the verge of shutting down and in the process, would have cost Michigan a...
    • Interview with Shelli Weisberg, Legislative Director of Michigan American Civil Liberties Union

      Shelli Weisberg, ACLU Michigan Wednesday, 18 November 2009 12:30 Krysta Daly: How did you get into this type of field? Shelli Weisberg: Well I took more of a leisurely route than some people, but I...
    • Interview with Steven Thompson, Michigan NORML

      Interviewee: Rev. Steven B. Thompson, Executive Director of MINORML. (The State of Michigan Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Interview Setting: I interviewed him...
    • Interview with Steve Dulan, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners

      Background: Steve Dulan is a part time Cooley Law School and Lansing Community College professor and serving his 3rd 2-year term as a member of the board of directors for the Michigan Coalition for Re...
    • The Release of Prisoners in Michigan

      Many budget cuts have occurred along with the state of the economy in Michigan. One of the current debates is based on the fact that prisoners are being released into society on or before before their...
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    About Us

    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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