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Bipartisan group seeks criminal justice bills

Sep 20, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A national group representing the left and right of the political spectrum is concentrating on Michigan as ripe for criminal justice changes that include releasing parolees earlier and taming law enforcement's seizure of people's assets regardless of whether charges are filed.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  The U.S. Justice Action Network comprises groups such as the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative FreedomWorks. The organization's executive director, Holly Harris, has been lobbying lawmakers and hopes legislation is enacted by year's end.

  Harris tells The Associated Press member organizations come at the issue from a different perspective but "all agree the reforms are necessary."

  The group also is targeting Ohio and Pennsylvania. It wants to safely reduce the prison population and associated "astronomical" incarceration costs, address over-criminalization and help ex-convicts successfully return to society.