Bills to limit incarceration advance in Michigan Legislature

Michigan

A judge’s gavel is shown in a file photo. (Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bills aimed at reforming Michigan’s criminal justice system have passed the state Senate.

The legislation approved Thursday aims to limit unnecessary incarceration and allow law enforcement more discretion when making arrests.

One bill focuses on keeping those with minor violations like failure to appear in court out of jail by eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing for certain cases.

The other bill looks to maintain the welfare of juveniles.

Legislation sponsor state Sen. Sylvia Santana said the repercussions for failing to appear are a heavy burden for many.

The Legislature has heard for two years from jail officials and others involved in criminal justice about inefficiencies and shortcomings.

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