Legislation heading to Gov. Rick Snyder would require the Michigan Department of Corrections to have a policy allowing for the hiring of felons. The Senate approved the bill unanimously Wednesday, months after the measure won House passage. A 1996 law prohibits people convicted of felonies from being employed in the prison agency.

A woman who entered a plea agreement in the death of an 85-year-old woman who was found in cold weather outside an assisted living center in western Michigan has received a delayed jail sentence. A Kent County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday sentenced Denise Filcek to six months in jail, but agreed to delay the jail term for an appeal.

Western Michigan man sentenced after 2 rape convictions

Oct 12, 2017

A West Michigan man has been sentenced to 24-51 years in prison for drugging and raping two women. Thirty-two-year-old Larry Stiff learned his sentence Tuesday after a Muskegon County jury last month convicted him of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving incapacitated victims. He received the sentence for each of the counts and will serve the sentences at the same time. 

The Muskegon Chronicle reports four women testified their drinks were drugged before they were sexually assaulted. Two others said they were drugged but managed to escape being assaulted.

A man accused of hiring prostitutes hundreds of times during his 20-year career as a Michigan prosecutor has been released from jail. The Lansing State Journal reports Stuart Dunnings III walked out of the Clinton County Jail early Sunday after serving 10 months.

Two men sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed as teens are savoring their freedom. They are among dozens in the U.S. resentenced and released after the Supreme Court banned mandatory no-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Earl Rice Jr. was jailed at 17 for a purse-snatching that took a woman's life. 

succo via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / Pixabay.com

A judge ignored the terms of a plea agreement and sentenced a former FBI agent to jail for shooting at a police officer outside a Michigan fitness club.

Judge Dennis Leiber told 35-year-old Ruben Hernandez of North Las Vegas, Nevada, that anyone who shoots at a law enforcement officer is going to jail. He sentenced Hernandez Thursday to 135 days.

Hernandez pleaded no contest to felonious assault. A no-contest plea isn't an admission of guilt, but is treated as one in sentencing.

Prosecutors recommended no jail time.

A federal appeals court says Michigan still has not fixed problems with its juvenile lifer law that was declared unconstitutional four years ago.

The US Supreme Court struck down sentences of automatic life without parole for juveniles as cruel and unusual punishment.

But a group of lifers sentenced as juveniles say the state is dragging its feet, and still won’t give them a meaningful chance at parole.

“It’s unconstitutional to do this to youth. It’s akin to a death sentence,” says attorney Deborah LaBelle.

Stefano Mazzone via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

A prison food worker accused of possessing drugs has been fired in western Michigan.

The man, who wasn't publicly identified, worked for a contractor that provides food service to the state prison system.

He was assigned to a prison in Ionia.

The Detroit Free Press says state police are investigating.

Corrections Department spokesman Chris Gautz says 66 people who worked for Trinity Food Services have been barred from prisons over 10 months.

He says 113 people were fired over the first 10 months when Aramark Correctional Services had the contract.

The Michigan House has approved legislation that would allow about 120 frail prisoners a year to be released to live in a nursing home.
The House OK'd the medical parole legislation late Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration at a time when the number of geriatric prisoners and associated health costs are rising.
A bill analysis says the legislation could save the state's prisons up to $5.4 million a year. The analysis says medically frail prisoners cost between three to five times more than other prisoners.

Stefano Mazzone via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Supporters of newly introduced criminal justice bills in the Michigan Senate say they are designed to keep prisoners from reoffending, ultimately saving taxpayers money on incarceration costs.

Proposals in the bipartisan package include defining recidivism in the law, changing the state Department of Corrections' name to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and incentivizing a reduction in parole and probation revocations.

Other bills would expedite medical commutation hearings and house 17- to -22-year-old inmates together instead of with older adults.