Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Michigan Democrat and Republican Prosecuting Attorneys Agree - Gov Granholm's Early Release Policies Are Increasing Crime In The State

Law enforcement officials lament early release of prisoners
Letting dangerous criminals out as early as possible on parole, in order for the state to save money has consequences:
Choking back tears Tuesday, Tameka Briggs gave her testimonial.

“There’s a chance that my dad would still be with me today,” Briggs said, if the man convicted of causing his murder hadn’t previously been freed from prison at the earliest possible date.

Briggs is the daughter of Willie C. Rice, shot dead at age 69 in his Muskegon home during a robbery last June 20. Derrick Lynell Hewlett, convicted of felony murder for organizing the robbery, had been paroled a year earlier after serving exactly 20 months of a 20-month-to-20-year sentence for cocaine delivery.
Talk about catch and release!

Prosecutors Tony Tague of Muskegon County, Bill Forsyth of Kent County, Chrystal Roach of Newaygo County and Andrea Krause of Montcalm County, as well as Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler, all spoke at the Muskegon presentation. They were flanked by police chiefs and sheriffs’ officials from across West Michigan.

The law enforcers’ message was bipartisan. Tague and Roesler are Democrats, the other prosecutors are Republican. All oppose recent corrections policies of Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration.

Their message was uniform: They said earlier release of prison inmates is hurting public safety.
It harms public safety and transfers more consts onto individuals rather the the state. The state saves money by not having the criminals in jail, but the individual that becomes the released criminal's target in a robbery or worse pays the price, and that's often a higher price than the cost to the state for keeping the criminal locked up.

The article goes on to point out:
According to law-enforcement officials opposing earlier paroles:

• Michigan has the highest per-capita violent crime rate in the Great Lakes region.

• Michigan has the region’s fewest police officers per capita.

• Michigan sends the lowest ratio of felons to prison in the region — two of 10, compared to the national average of four in 10.

• Michigan spends $32,817 annually per prisoner, Ohio $25,268 and Texas $15,527.

• Michigan’s prison population has dropped from 51,544 to 45,478, down 11.8 percent in 20 months.

— Sources: 2009 reports by Council of State Governments, Office of Community Corrections, Pew Center on the States and Michigan Department of Corrections
Could there possibly be a correlation between Michigan having the highest rate of violent crime in the region and its failure to keep dangerous felons in prison? One would think so, and it is time Granholm ended the early and easy parole policies for violent criminals and kept them locked up. A government's prime function is the safety and protection of its citizens, and Michigan seems to be doing as badly at that as the other areas where this state continues to fall down on its responsibilities.

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