LANSING — The Michigan House passed a criminal justice reform package this week to offer limited opportunities for parole for inmates who are elderly, medically fragile or terminally ill in order to receive off-site care. State Reps. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield), who each sponsored a bill within the bi-partisan bill package, believe the measure will refocus the state’s priorities in pursuing criminal justice.
“Criminal justice is about rehabilitating those convicted of crimes so we may safely welcome them back into our communities after they’ve paid their debt to society,” said Carter. “Spending time in jail when you are elderly, sick or disabled should not become an automatic death sentence. This is our best way to humanely provide care while also keeping costs down for the people of Michigan.”
Over recent years, the Michigan Department of Corrections budget has soared above $2 billion due in part to the costs associated with providing long-term medical care. Carter’s House Bill 4130 and Bolden’s House Bill 4132 would allow limited parole so that medically frail individuals can access medical care facilities.
“Let’s be honest, our criminal justice system is not set up to care for those that are unable to properly care for themselves. This bill package will allow the elderly, sick, and disabled a chance to receive the proper care.” said Bolden. “But true justice is about finding the best way to make our community whole again. Offering care to those that need it, when they need it, is a testament to the character of our society.”