GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers and advocates are calling for the return of “good time” credits in the state’s prison system.
On Thursday, state legislators and advocates held a news conference in Grand Rapids at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. They said prisoners could earn those credits through holding a job inside prison, earning a college degree or education certificate, or participating in a training program. Those credits could be used to reduce prison sentences.
Michigan is one of only six states in the country with no way to earn “good time” credit which could shave time of prisoner’s sentences.
Lawmakers and advocates say longer prison sentences lead to further breakdown of families and communities, and result in unnecessary trauma for the incarcerated person.
They also made the argument that rewarding good behavior simply works.
“We all know, behaviorally, that rewards word better than punishments. Sometimes punishments are necessary but any disciplinary system should be using rewards as well as punishments. We do it with our children because it’s what works best,” said State Rep. David LaGrand.
The Liberty and Justice For All Coalition is a bipartisan group of people working to reform the criminal justice system in our state. Its website features research and numbers behind the prison system.