LANSING, Mich., Dec. 8, 2022 — State Reps. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) and Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced a bill package focused on reestablishing the good time credit system in the Michigan Department of Corrections. Michigan ranks number one in the country for longest sentences served by those incarcerated. These bills create an incentive for incarcerated Michiganders to earn time off their sentence with good behavior.
“Michigan is one of only six states that lack a good time policy in the incarceration system,” O’Neal said. “These bills are fundamental for relieving Michigan’s overpopulated prison systems and supporting incarcerated individuals’ integration back into society. It is important to carry out justice, but it is also important to reward progress. The good time bills do just that.”
These bills award 30 days of good behavior with the opportunity to earn 30 days off their sentence. These credits would provide critical relief to Michigan’s overcrowded prisons, creating a safer environment both for corrections officers and those who are incarcerated. Due to the combination of Michigan’s 100% Truth in Sentencing law and the lack of any sentencing credits, incarcerated individuals in Michigan serve on average 6.5 years. Michigan continues to exceed other states’ spending at 18.3% of the state’s general fund budget on corrections compared to the national average of 5.8%.
“This legislation can make a positive impact not only on the atmosphere and safety of our prison systems, but also on those who are incarcerated,” Rogers said. “These bills provide those individuals something to look forward to and work toward so they may discover the power of redemption. It grants new opportunities, not only to those in the systems, but to their families and their futures, as well.”