inmates http://michiganradio.org en Michigan inmates get remedy in parole ban case http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-inmates-get-remedy-parole-ban-case <p>DETROIT (AP) - About 130 Michigan prison inmates will have an opportunity to seek parole in a case that ends an unusual state policy of treating them as mandatory lifers.<br /><br />The state won't appeal a 2013 court decision that struck down the policy and has agreed to clear the way for a parole process. Judge Deborah Servitto signed an order last week.<br /><br />It's an odd case. The inmates were sent to prison with life sentences for a variety of crimes but still had a chance at parole. Then they got in trouble for possessing a weapon or committing another offense behind bars. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 18:41:00 +0000 The Associated Press 16862 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan inmates get remedy in parole ban case In this morning's news: possible cap on FOIA fees, Lansing's budget showdown, education for inmates http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-possible-cap-foia-fees-lansings-budget-showdown-education-inmates <p><strong>Legislation in Michigan House could cap FOIA fees</strong></p><p>There is new legislation up for initial hearing this week in Lansing. It is a response to local governments and state agencies charging hefty fees for people to see government records.</p><p>"One of the bills would limit most charges for requests filed under the state’s Freedom of Information Act to no more than 10 cents a page. Another would create a Michigan Open Government Commission to hear challenges to government denials of information requests," Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Lansing City Council vs. Mayor Virg Bernero</strong></p><p>The Lansing city council will vote tonight on a budget for next year. Michigan Radio's Steve <span>Carmody</span> <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/lansing-city-council-votes-fy2014-budget-tonight" target="_blank">reports</a> that "the vote will likely put the council at odds with Mayor <span>Virg</span> <span>Bernero</span>."&nbsp;</p><p>The mayor wants to add annual fees for city water and electricity customers. Conversely, the council wants to make several spending cuts including eliminating several new positions the mayor wants to add to the city's payroll. Mayor Virg Bernero will have until Thursday to veto parts of the city budget he doesn’t like. The Lansing city council has until early June to try to override the mayor’s expected vetoes.</p><p><strong>Higher education opportunities piloted in Michigan prisons</strong></p><p>"After years without funding for prisoners to access higher education, the Michigan Department of Corrections is immersed in several efforts to teach community college courses and vocational training in-house to a small number of inmates who are near parole. Michigan will join a pilot project that hopes to gather enough evidence to possibly resurrect publicly supported postsecondary education in prisons nationally," reports <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130520/METRO/305200336/Michigan-aims-expand-education-inmates?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">The Detroit News</a>.</p><p> Mon, 20 May 2013 11:52:30 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12637 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: possible cap on FOIA fees, Lansing's budget showdown, education for inmates Is it time to stop asking Michigan job seekers about criminal convictions on job applications? http://michiganradio.org/post/it-time-stop-asking-michigan-job-seekers-about-criminal-convictions-job-applications <p>Michigan employers would no longer be able to ask on a job application if a person has been convicted of a felony.&nbsp; That is if one state lawmaker has his way.</p><p></p><p>Research shows a criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a job callback or offer by nearly 50%.</p><p></p><p>To help change that, State Representative Fred Durhal of Detroit wants to ban employers from including a question about criminal convictions on job applications.</p><p></p><p>He says too often employers throw away job applications if the applicant checks the criminal conviction box.</p><p></p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 16:20:38 +0000 Steve Carmody 11572 at http://michiganradio.org Is it time to stop asking Michigan job seekers about criminal convictions on job applications? Michigan inmate loses bid to have commutation of life sentence reinstated http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-inmate-loses-bid-have-commutation-life-sentence-reinstated <p>DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan appeals court says it has no authority to intervene in the judgment of then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who agreed to change a prisoner's no-parole sentence but then changed her mind before leaving office in 2010.<br><br>The court said Friday it must respect the "clear and exclusive constitutional power" granted to Michigan governors in commutation matters.<br> Fri, 28 Dec 2012 20:00:48 +0000 The Associated Press 10553 at http://michiganradio.org Genesee County Jail to release inmates because of “overcrowding emergency” http://michiganradio.org/post/genesee-county-jail-release-inmates-because-overcrowding-emergency <p>The emergency was declared this week when the number of inmates remained above 700 for seven days in a row. The jail’s capacity is only 580 inmates.</p><p>That means <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(fe5fmo2yyte1dsiwjwiaqs2v))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&amp;objectname=mcl-Act-325-of-1982&amp;query=on&amp;highlight=emergency%20AND%20overcrowding">state law now requires the jail </a>to release about 175 inmates in the next two weeks. The number needs to get to 555 within 12 days; if the sheriff’s department can’t do that it’ll create a list to hand over to judges to decide.</p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 20:44:56 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9172 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan mandated inmate DNA tests leading police to suspects quicker than expected http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-mandated-inmate-dna-tests-leading-police-suspects-quicker-expected <p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(bk2qtf45feh1pl455jaxod55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectName=2011-SB-0346">new&nbsp;state law</a> that mandates inmates give DNA samples is helping police solve dozens of cold cases.</p><p>Since the mid 90s, all inmates have had to give DNA samples when they exit prisons and jails in Michigan. They could volunteer the DNA before they were released, but they didn&rsquo;t have to.</p><p>&ldquo;Obviously when someone refuses to give a sample, something&rsquo;s up,&rdquo; Michigan State Police Captain Greg Michaud said.</p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:49:07 +0000 Lindsey Smith 6580 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan mandated inmate DNA tests leading police to suspects quicker than expected Postcard only rule at Muskegon County jail revised, a little bit http://michiganradio.org/post/postcard-only-rule-muskegon-county-jail-revised-little-bit <p>In February the sheriff instituted a &ldquo;postcard only&rdquo; rule at the county jail. That meant inmates could only send or receive mail on standard postcards. The sheriff was trying to keep drugs, pornography, and items inmates could use as weapons &ndash; out of the jail. Legal paperwork is exempt. Now the sheriff is allowing inmates to send letters. But incoming mail still has to be written on standard postcards.</p> Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:03:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 4007 at http://michiganradio.org Postcard only rule at Muskegon County jail revised, a little bit “Postcard only” rules at county jails in Michigan attracting protests, lawsuits http://michiganradio.org/post/%E2%80%9Cpostcard-only%E2%80%9D-rules-county-jails-michigan-attracting-protests-lawsuits <p>Mail policies at several county jails across the state are becoming more restrictive, mainly to save money. It&rsquo;s causing an outcry from inmates&rsquo; family and friends, and people who advocate for prisoners&rsquo; rights.</p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 3813 at http://michiganradio.org “Postcard only” rules at county jails in Michigan attracting protests, lawsuits New law requires earlier DNA tests for inmates http://michiganradio.org/post/new-law-requires-earlier-dna-tests-inmates <p>Michigan prison inmates will have to submit to DNA testing soon after they&#39;re locked up rather than waiting until just before they&#39;re released under a bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.</p><p>The state began collecting inmates&#39; DNA samples in 1994, but inmates currently aren&#39;t required to provide a sample until they&#39;re released on parole, placed in a halfway house or discharged after serving their full sentences.</p><p>Supporters say the new law Snyder signed Thursday will help police solve cold cases sooner by giving them the ability to match inmates&#39; DNA to unsolved crimes while they&#39;re still in prison.</p><p>Prison inmates now will have to give a DNA sample within three months of incarceration. Fri, 22 Jul 2011 10:35:36 +0000 The Associated Press 3427 at http://michiganradio.org Village of Baldwin hopes a prison contract can revive the area http://michiganradio.org/post/village-baldwin-hopes-prison-contract-can-revive-area <p>The tiny village of Baldwin is hoping a private prison contract bringing thousands of inmates from California to Michigan will help revitalize the area. Baldwin is 65 miles north of Grand Rapids. Sat, 11 Dec 2010 21:34:01 +0000 Zoe Clark 558 at http://michiganradio.org Village of Baldwin hopes a prison contract can revive the area