ACLU of Michigan Applauds Michigan Lawmakers For Passing Criminal Legal Reform Legislation

State Senate urged to cast a final procedural vote on second set of reform bills

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
December 17, 2020 5:45 pm

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DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) applauds state lawmakers for passing a series of bills that are critical to reforming Michigan’s criminal legal system. The bills, which have bipartisan support, will help put an end to locking up people for driving offenses unrelated to safety, decriminalize numerous misdemeanor offenses to civil infractions, and eliminate mandatory minimum jail sentences for certain minor offenses.

The bills are based on recommendations from the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration led by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and supported by a diverse coalition of organizations, including the ACLU of Michigan.

The second set of bills require a final procedural vote from the Senate to adopt changes made in the House. The bills will expand the ability of law enforcement to issue citations requiring people to show up to court in lieu of arrest, require probation and parole conditions be tailored to the individual, and other reforms that reduce mass incarceration and dismantle racism in the criminal legal system.

Kimberly Buddin, ACLU of Michigan Policy Counsel, had this reaction:

“We are thrilled with the passage of this legislation that will help put an end to needlessly locking up people for low-level offenses, especially Black and brown people. People belong with their families, at work, and in their communities. The legislation has strong bipartisan support as lawmakers across the political spectrum prioritized these bills during lame duck. We urge the Senate to complete this final procedural vote immediately to further the momentum toward overhauling our broken system. Let’s get it done so we can we look forward to taking on more reforms together in the new year.”

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