On Monday (January 4), the Michigan State Legislature passed a set of laws that will transform the state’s probation and parole system.
SB 2048, SB 1050, and SB 1051, which were all advocated for by Meek Mill and Jay-Z’s REFORM Alliance, will reduce adult felony probation sentences in Michigan from five years to three years and prevent endless extensions on misdemeanor and felony prison terms.
The new laws will also limit jail sanctions for technical probation violations and require parole supervision terms to be tailored to a person’s individualised risks and needs.
Michigan has one of the highest rates of probation supervision nationally. The new bills, signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, will put the state on pace to decrease the state’s overall caseloads by over 8 percent.
"It’s encouraging to watch bipartisan leaders from different states recognize the need for fair and rational legislation focused on creating second chances for those in the criminal justice system,” Philadelphia 76ers partner Michael Rubin said in a press release, according to Billboard. “We’re incredibly thankful for Governor Whitmer for signing these bills into law and for the coalition of groups that supported us throughout this process. This is a tremendous victory for REFORM and a strong way to start 2021.”
“This bipartisan legislation will bring meaningful change and opportunity to thousands of individuals and families across the state of Michigan,” REFORM CEO Van Jones added. “We thank Governor Whitmer for her fearless commitment and leadership to bolstering her state’s criminal justice system in a fair and balanced way. We look forward to continuing to work with her on impactful reform measures in the future.”
The REFORM Alliance was launched in January 2019 by Meek, Hov, Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brooklyn Nets parner Clara Wu Tsai and others.
Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images