Blog: Governor Snyder's Criminal Justice Message Calls-to-Action

Criminal Justice Special Message logo

May 18, 2015

Governor Snyder's Criminal Justice Special Message was about changing outcomes in order to build a safer, stronger state for Michigan families.  Here are the 'Calls-to-Action' from the governor's special message.  You can learn more at 

Victim’s Rights

  • Work to make notification of victim’s rights in a manner best suited to the victim, including the option of receiving notifications electronically, which is faster and more cost-effective.
  • The Legislature should pass pending bills that would permit a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking to have an address designated by the Attorney General at which they can receive mail, therefore prohibiting perpetrators from having access to the victim’s identifying information.
  • The Michigan State Police will create a joint forensic team with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget to detect and investigate cybercrimes statewide.
  • The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) should take steps to ensure we are successfully collecting restitution from probationers, prison inmates, and parolees.

Juvenile Justice

  • The Legislature should consider amending the Juvenile Diversion Act to default to diversion when appropriate based on needs and risk assessments.
  • Counties are encouraged to consider the benefits of using best practice or evidence-based assessment tools to guide placement decisions.
  • DHHS should work with local courts and counties to identify gaps in service in our state and design a grant program that would allow for the development of a more robust network of community-based programs and in-home care in these areas.
  • DHHS should develop and include quality metrics in all future juvenile justice provider contracts.

Prisoner Reentry

  • Begin preparing prisoners for reentry on day one, including a standardized employment assessment so we know what skills they need to put them on the right track.
  • Improve quality of prisoner education with hands-on skilled trades training.
  • Prepare offenders for life outside of prison by teaching what it means to earn a wage, keep a job, pay bills, find housing and follow the law.
  • Require the Talent Investment Agency (TIA) to provide quarterly job demand data to MDOC and work with employers to identify specific occupational demands that aren’t being met by our existing workforce.
  • Bring local employment service activities into the prison system and create partnerships with private industry to design and support targeted vocational training.
  • Partner with Michigan’s Career Technical Education Program and TIA to develop contextualized education programs for inmates, allowing them to prepare for GED completion while learning vocational skills.
  • Provide wraparound services to help ex-offenders, including the placement of a parole officer at a workplace if a sufficient number of ex-offender employees are present. 
  • MDOC and TIA should work to develop partnerships with employers to provide qualified inmates who have completed vocational training with opportunities to actually work in a skilled trade and earn a market-rate wage that could go toward victim restitution.
  • MDOC must make sure that prisoners have all vital documents necessary to begin employment at the day of release.

Continuing Reforms

  • The Legislature should continue its work cleaning up Michigan’s criminal code.
  • Ensure ongoing success of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission created in 2013.
  • Collaboration between the Legislature and judicial system is needed to help exonerees get back on their feet after a wrongful conviction.
  • Exploration of alternative settings in which to incarcerate elderly and terminally ill prisoners.
  • The Legislature should address the problem of unregulated and inconsistent probation violation sanctions.