Proos response to governor’s message on criminal justice

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LANSING, Mich. — In response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s Special Message to the Legislature on Criminal Justice, which proposes several criminal justice and law enforcement reforms, Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, released the following statement:

“I look forward to continuing to work with the governor on smart reforms to improve the cost-effectiveness of our criminal justice system and help break the cycle of crime.

“As we look to be more efficient with state spending, we must remember that a strong law enforcement presence is key to preventing crime and keeping our communities safe.

“Addressing criminal justice begins with honoring and providing support for victims of crime. The greatest cost of crime is the impact on the victims, their families and the entire community.

“As the Senate chair of the Corrections and Judiciary budgets, I have proposed savings of more than $350 million during the last five years.

“We must make smart decisions about how we invest tax dollars in public safety and in the rehabilitation of those who commit crimes. I have worked for years on initiatives like the Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program and our drug-treatment courts to reduce crime, drug use and jail time. We have seen outstanding results in Michigan with these endeavors and I am encouraged that the governor is embracing them.

“I have also long supported programs to identify jobs that are available in our communities, to tailor the prison programs to fit those needs and to connect employers with individuals coming out of our prison system. In the Corrections budget, we incentivized our prisons to re-focus on reform of prisoners through job training and preparing prisoners for parole.

“I want to praise the governor for highlighting a new law designed to help encourage employment and success when prisoners re-enter society. Parolees in Michigan can now receive a ‘Certificate of Employability’ if they successfully complete a vocational skills program, maintain an exemplary conduct record while in prison and complete a nationally recognized job skills assessment.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos about the governor’s special message will be available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.