Criminal justice legislation part of early initiatives as 2017 session begins

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, announced on Thursday the introduction of legislation that would implement many of his recommendations as part of the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission over the past several years.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. Colbeck, is part of a package of criminal justice reform bills that have been introduced in 2017. The bill would help to guide subsequent policy decisions related to criminal justice reform.

“Last year there were many ideas on how to update our criminal justice system, but most bills in this area weren’t signed into law because testimony showed a distinct lack of information regarding the impacts of the proposed policy changes,” Sen. Colbeck said. “When it comes to criminal justice reform policies, we need to ensure that victims’ rights are protected first and foremost, but there are other concerns as well.

“We need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, mitigate the risk of future victims by ensuring that those who are incarcerated are truly rehabilitated prior to release, and ensure that offenders have an opportunity to contribute to society in a positive way after release. The effective achievement of these objectives requires substantive information to which we currently do not have access.”

SB 11 is designed to make sure policy leaders will have the data needed to make effective and stable policy decisions. The bill has been assigned to the Michigan Senate Competitiveness Committee and Sen. Colbeck expects his bill and other criminal justice reform bills to receive committee hearings soon.

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