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MI "Good Time" credits discussed

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-887399.mp3

LANSING, MI –

A state House panel began hearings Wednesday on legislation that would allow for the early parole of prisoners on good behavior.

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Governor Granholm and some Democratic lawmakers think the early release of about 7,500 prisoners through good-behavior credits would be a good way for the Department of Corrections to save money. However, some Republicans in the Senate say they won't even entertain the discussion because Michigan has laws that require "truth in sentencing."

Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings says truth in sentencing was demanded by voters in the mid-1990s.

"The Legislature listened to the outcry of the people, who wanted to be safe in their committees and who wanted some certainty that if somebody got 5-15, they're going to do the five," he says.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says there is no timeline to approve the legislation and discussions could continue well into the spring.

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