Skubick: Lawmakers square off over proposed change to prison parole

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan House has approved a plan to parole prison inmates as soon as they serve their minimum sentence. The measure passed by a 67-39 margin.

But some lawmakers are concerned about applying that to violent criminals.

Senator Rick Jones, a former sheriff, was clear in his opinion. “Presumptive parole for violent inmates is not a good idea.”

The Michigan House passed presumptive parole which means as soon as an inmate serves his or her minimum sentence they would be paroled.

Rep. Roger Victory, a backer of the measure, reports there are safeguards to reduce the risk of releasing criminals who could commit another crime. “In life we are always exposed to risk and danger,” said Rep. Roger Victory. “”There are protocols in these bills and a lot of safety caps in the process.”

There seems to be an agreement that non-violent inmates could be released but the state attorney general and others argue against freeing violent crooks.

“I would be perfectly willing to have a conversation around non violent offenders and releasing them around the minimum sentence as long as they’ve meet certain thresholds,” insists Rep. Tom Barrett. “However, with violent offenders, I’m not as comfortable with that.”

The governor believes tax dollars can be saved and the public can be protected.

But Senate GOP leader Arlan Meekhof does not want violent criminals back on the streets. “We have people we’re scared of and people we are mad at and maybe we can do something for the people we are mad at.” When asked if that meant releasing violent crooks, Meekhof was quick to say “nobody wishes to have that done.”

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