Snyder signs parole, probation changes at Kzoo coffee shop

Rick Snyder bill signing Kalamazoo 033017_314162

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law criminal justice changes that advocates say are intended to keep criminals from reoffending.

About 30 percent of Michigan’s 41,000 inmates return to prison within three years, and half have been locked up for parole or probation violations. Combatting recidivism saves the government money and makes citizens safer, according to backers of the legislation enacted Thursday.

Snyder signed the legislation at a Kalamazoo coffee shop that hires ex-offenders and helps them with life skills such as paying bills.

The laws require the creation of a new parole program with progressively harsher penalties as opposed to sometimes automatically sending released inmates back to prison. Probationers who commit “technical” violations — not new crimes — will be incarcerated for no more than 30 days per violation.

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