(WJBK) - The head of the Michigan Sheriff's Association stands shoulder to shoulder with Michigan's attorney general as they and other law enforcement officials brace for another round in the legislative effort by some to revamp the parole system in Michigan with so-called presumptive parole. It remains one of the governor's top items for the new year but the Bill Schuette lead opposition has the measure on hold in the state senate.
Terry Jungel has not changed his mind on the intent of the measure which is to allow inmates to be paroled after they have served their minimum sentence if certain guidelines are met. ""You are not protecting the public by releasing felons who have proven they have a proclivity to break the law. They are not in prison because they were being good," he argues however when it comes to elderly and sick inmates, Mr. Jungel tells MIRS, "That's exactly where we should be looking."
The Snyder administration has suggested some of these inmates could be removed from the prison system and the head of the MSA suggests, "We're O.K. with that. We believe the infirm, medically proven to be infirm, and not with some Internet doctor saying this person should be released" can be reassigned. And with the mentally ill he observes those who run the county jails were "never trained to deal with the mentally ill" in the first place. He believes those inmates "could be released" as long as they receive the correct medical attention and "proper supervision."
As for the other felons convicted of serious crimes, he repeats, "there is a victim's voice that needs to be heard" and those families would be better served if criminals were given a "flat sentence" and at the end of that time, everyone would know they were going to be released. "We need to quit lying to the victims" about sentencing he contends.