Advocates Applaud Gov. Whitmer for Signing Parole Reform Laws for Medically Frail Prisoners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2019

CONTACT: media@safeandjust.org

LANSING, MICH. – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed new legislation to overhaul the state’s medical parole process. The laws, HB 4129-4132, were passed overwhelmingly by the Michigan House and Senate and allow the state to parole seriously ill and “medically frail” prisoners. It would permit them to obtain care at medical facilities and nursing homes instead of prisons, saving the state millions in taxpayer dollars.

Robert Rooks, Vice President of Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), released the following statement:

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer for signing new legislation to overhaul Michigan’s medical parole process. The state has the highest percentage of incarcerated people over the age of 50, hundreds of whom are categorized as medically frail.

“Michigan law has required prisons to keep medically frail people in prison, where medical care is extremely costly and funded entirely by the state. It is indisputable that care can be provided more effectively and affordably in more appropriate settings than prisons for people who pose no threat to public safety. This is a victory for public safety, Michigan taxpayers and justice.

“We are proud to have worked with partners and stakeholders, like West Michigan Policy Forum, Safe and Just Michigan, and others in the business and advocacy community throughout the state to support these important changes. We thank Gov. Whitmer and the coalition of lawmakers, business leaders and public safety officials who united to make this possible, and look forward to building on these safety solutions.”

Aswad Thomas, Managing Director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice stated:

“As crime survivors, we support effective public safety policies that stop the cycle of crime and invest in the safety and well-being of communities. Michigan is taking an important step to stop wasting important public resources on the incarceration of people who pose no risk to public safety and require intensive health care that is best provided outside of the prison system. We applaud Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders for putting safety first with this important parole reform.”

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