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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Michigan considers sentencing guidelines changes

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder are considering changes to prison sentencing guidelines that were last updated about 15 years ago.

The Detroit News reports the idea is driven in part by a desire to reduce the state Department of Corrections budget, which exceeds $2 billion.

A state sentencing guidelines study was launched last month by the bipartisan Michigan Law Review Commission.

Corrections Director Dan Heyns has advocated for a review of state sentencing guidelines. He endorsed the review, which likely will take about 18 months.

A 2012 national Pew Charitable Trusts study found that Michigan's sentences or time served were 79 percent longer than in 1990. Changes were approved by state lawmakers in 1998, and the study says that added about $472 million to Michigan's annual prison costs.

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