criminal justice reform | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

criminal justice reform

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers says it’s time to change state law and let more people expunge their criminal records.

Current state law only allows people convicted of certain offenses to expunge one felony or two misdemeanors. Lawmakers say that’s too narrow, and keeps too many people from really getting a second chance—especially when it comes to getting a job.

Photo inside a prison.
Unsplash

Hundreds of young men in Michigan say they were sexually assaulted while serving time in adult prisons when they were still teenagers. The state's Department of Corrections, they allege in a class action lawsuit, failed to provide them with adequate protection. 

Last month, the Michigan Supreme Court cleared the legal path for these men to sue the state of Michigan for damages.

A police car seen through the side mirror on a car.
Craig Finlay / Creative Commons

There are roughly 50,000 people in Michigan who have been convicted of cannabis-related crimes. Now that voters have legalized recreational marijuana, advocates are working to get those convictions cleared.

That same process began in California after voters legalized recreational cannabis there in 2016. We talk to Capital Public Radio reporter Scott Rodd about what Michigan might learn from California's experience. 

bail bonds
Thomas Hawk / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

One of the core philosophies of U.S. criminal law is the presumption of innocence, that defendants charged with crimes are innocent until proven guilty.