New act proposes to protect victims of crime by also helping criminals
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s a plan to make Michigan safer and protect the rights of crime victims, by helping criminals as well.
Most criminals have a hard time reintegrating back into society. Now, the Safer Michigan Act wants to help them come home ready to work and live stable, productive lives.
Rep. Bronna Kahle is a Republican from Adrian.
Kahle said, “It is a great shared priority by both democrats and republicans to improve our public safety and create these new opportunities for victims and those returning citizens from our correction system.”
After two years, that idea culminated in seven new bills creating programs for criminals like education, drug treatment, and mental health counseling.
Kahle said, “The State of Michigan really has an opportunity right now to take an important first step towards healing survivors of the past, but also looking ahead and reducing the number of potential victims in the future.”
The idea is to help criminals prepare to re-enter society by teaching them how to find jobs and housing. The goal is to keep them from committing more crimes and ending up back in the system. Rep. Tyrone Carter is a Democrat from Detroit.
“If you take your car to the car wash, and it comes out at the end and it’s still dirty, then you’ve wasted your money,” Carter said. “If we send people into the system and they come out the same way they came in, then we have failed as a society.”
That rings true with some families, where prison is the norm. Priscilla Bordayo represents a group called Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.
Bordayo said, “We come from a very dysfunctional background with assaults to disfunction with drugs and all of them going into prison actually and coming back out and then going back into prison because they weren’t rehabilitated.”
Priscilla is a victim of crime herself, and now she wants to see changes made for her family and others out there struggling.
“This means so much to me and my family because this goes down from generation to generation and I want my family lineage to change the course that it’s been,” Bordayo said. “I’m extremely thankful and it means a lot to me that people are stepping up.”
The proposal’s backers say not all convicts will qualify for the program. The judge and prosecutor will make that determination.
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