View Full Version : Letters of support for good time Bill to judiciary committee chair

09-28-2005, 06:40 PM
I am writing so that everyone who wants to support the reinstatement of good time can send an e-mail in support of house bill5130 to give good time back. The bill has been referred to the judiciary committee for review. It could be scheduled to be discussed or could just die there. The committe chair for the judiciary committee is William VanRegenmorter and his e-mail address is if anyone would like to send an e-mail in support of this bill.

09-28-2005, 07:50 PM
A question regarding this bill: Will it reinstate good time for all inmates or only for non violent offenders, or what? Just curious. Thanks.

09-28-2005, 08:03 PM
I just sent a letter out to him. Thanks.

09-28-2005, 08:26 PM
A question regarding this bill: Will it reinstate good time for all inmates or only for non violent offenders, or what? Just curious. Thanks.

I haven not read all of this bill but one thing everyone has to understand. Unless they make this bill retroactive for those already incarcerated it will NOT affect their sentences. Just as TIS did not affect inmates who were already sentenced and/or incarcerated, this bill may not affect the inmates sentenced under TIS.

09-28-2005, 10:19 PM
From what I understood of the bill was that it was all not just non-violent offenses and that if it was put into affect that it would automotically release individuals that would become eligible under this bill so where retroactive was question for what I understand is that it would account for all individuals incarcerated! I thought maybe this was a measure they were trying to use to free up space in the fastest way possible!

09-29-2005, 07:15 AM
I am not sure about van regenmorter he is very head strong I sure hopes he dose this I know he believes in the that people should pay for there crimes in every way god let all pray he dose the right thing and let our men come home sooner maybe if every one lets him see the light by email he will really look at this as good thing pleaes evey one write to him at once Steph

09-29-2005, 07:53 PM
Well, the e-mail I sent was responded to today. I covered a lot of bases in it. The leagal aid replied saying that she took liberty to print off my letter and give it to him immediately. They probably respond to all the letters the same but I was happy with getting a response. One of the things I said was that the Parole Board looks too much at juvenile history and past tickets. I said that society has a lot of "armchair warriors" who talk big about criminals and what should be done to them but they don't want to be part of the solution. I told him that so many of the prisoners have made amends and completed their recommendations but still sit past their out-dates because of paranoia and so on... I included the fact that these prisoners have succeeded not only because they want a better life but also because they had constant support from people who actually "walk the talk." (That would be all of the great PTO family) I really hope they take on a new view of this system and what it takes to heal people and the system.

10-30-2005, 05:43 AM
Hello All,
I want to send latters to the Rep's. My problem is,how and what do I say . I'm not to good writing letters. I wish I could get a few examples. I can't seem to find any that have been posted. Please Help ..Thanks

10-30-2005, 11:15 AM
Okay - I will post my letter, BUT - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT....use it only for ideas and not the same wording. We want them to know each letter is individual and doesn't look like a chain letter. I am sort of hesitant to do this, but if it will help someone else get started, so be it. In case you don't have all the addresses of the Judiciary Committee members, here is the link for that:

Also, for your information, here is a link to the report I forwarded with it. It is probably not a good idea for anybody else to send this or again, it will look like we are copying each other:

Although I always think it is good to keep letters short and to the point, I have difficulty keeping things short myself. Therefore, this is rather a long letter I sent - it is....AND REMEMBER ONLY USE IT FOR IDEAS:

Honorable «Name»
«Room» House Office Bldg.
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Re: House Bills 5129, 5130, 5131 and 5224

Dear «Name»:

I am writing you relative to four (4) new bills that have recently been sent to the House Judiciary Committee. These bills are House Bills 5129, 5130, 5131 and 5224. My interest in these bills is both personal and also as a member of the general public.

It is my understanding that House Bill 5224 would make it mandatory for the Parole Board to grant a parole to any prisoner who has served his or her time with no major tickets with, of course, the caveat that the release wouldn’t jeopardize the public safety. This bill is identical to a bill introduced and referred to your Committee a year ago, which apparently was not acted upon by the Committee.

House Bills 5129, 5130, and 5131 are a package of bills, which must be passed together to become effective. I believe these bills would restore “good time” to prisoners and eliminate the terms “disciplinary time” language from the existing statutes and further give the MDOC and the Parole Board a little more latitude as to what is considered being under the “jurisdiction” of the MDOC. If I understand the intent of these bills correctly, they would eliminate what is now called Truth in Sentencing and give prisoners who are serving their prison time in the manner in which it was intended, i.e. productively, the incentive to earn good time and perhaps be reassigned to alternate incarceration methods or released at an earlier date. There again are caveats for violent offenders.

It is no secret that the State of Michigan is experiencing serious financial problems. While the Michigan Department of Corrections is taking a substantially increasing amount of the Michigan yearly budget, other necessary funding, such as education and health, are being hard hit by financial cutbacks. No one wants to endanger the public by releasing prisoners who shouldn’t be out among the general population, but there are protections built into these bills to prevent such an event from occurring. We must get back to the primary focus of preventing crime and that is providing funding and programming for the education and mental health systems to guide our young children so that they grow up to be mature, productive adults.

On February 1, 2005, a Prison Population Report was sent to the Senate and House Appropriation Subcommittees on Corrections by Patricia Caruso, the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, setting forth current trends in prison population and projections of what the prison population would be by 2009. The bottom line is that, despite a small decline in the prison population during 2003 and the first part of 2004, it had begun to rise dramatically during the five (5) months preceding the report and by December 2009, the prison population is expected to be approximately 57,000 prisoners, which would be 8,000 more prisoners than the MDOC is equipped to handle. The MDOC, at the time of the report, had a bed capacity of approximately 49,000. However, that was before the 2005 closures of several facilities. I have attached a copy of that report.

The report, I believe, makes it clear that this population increase is due, in a large part to the enactment of Truth in Sentencing, but due also, to a lesser degree, to the fact that Michigan’s sentencing guidelines were changed about the same time and the Michigan Parole Board often unilaterally keeps prisoners beyond their Earliest Release Date arbitrarily, despite good behavior, good reports and other favorable factors. Passage of the four bills before your Committee could make not only a major impact on the State’s budget woes, but also on future generations by redirecting the funding now allocated to the MDOC to more positive purposes.

It is obvious, at least to me, that Truth in Sentencing, together with the new sentencing guidelines, have not had a positive impact on this State. State funding is being cut to essential civilian services, our prison system keeps rapidly growing, prisons are being closed to cut costs, and both prisoners and prison personnel are being forced to deal with overcrowded prisons, which may well violate the federal statutes governing correctional facilities.

I am well aware that the Chairman of your Committee, William VanRegenmorter, was the author of what is now Michigan’s Truth in Sentencing legislation and, most likely, will not favor having something he worked to get enacted set aside. However, the facts seem clear that something must be done very soon to rectify what is certainly now a bad situation and these bills are a beginning. In addition to the language already set forth in the bills, I firmly believe that any final bills passed should contain language making them retroactive. Making the laws retroactive may initially cause a little more work on the part of the MDOC and the Parole Board, but the positive results should compensate for that situation in the long run, i.e. less prisoners and less dollars being spent by the MDOC.

For your information, on a personal note, I do have an incarcerated loved one, although he is not a member of my immediate family. I have worked for a law firm for over 32 years and, although we do not handle many criminal matters, I have, over the past few years, learned a great deal very fast. Unfortunately, my loved one is a habitual offender and it does not appear as though Bills 5129, 5130, and 5131 will affect him in any major way, except to help alleviate the horrendous overcrowded conditions he is living under now, and perhaps open up some counseling programs within the prison system to assist him with turning his life around, and maybe even allow him to come home on tether near the end of his sentence so that he can start adjusting to living in a different manner. Finally, after far too many years, he has disassociated himself from his dysfunctional family and is beginning to deal with the sexual, physical and emotional abuse he suffered as a young child and teenager. Passage of Bill 5224 could very well have an impact on what the Parole Board does when his Earliest Release Date comes up. Furthermore, I have four (4) grown children, who among them have given me eight (8) beautiful grandchildren. These grandchildren are between the ages of one and eleven and will all be affected by the State’s education budget.

I had hoped to keep this letter brief, but that is difficult when you feel passionately about something. Although there is plenty more I could say on the issues I have raised above, I will trust that you will consider what I have said and look closely at the future passage of these bills into law.

10-30-2005, 11:34 PM
I have sent my letter out in regards to HB-5129,5130,5131.
This is my question for PTO. As PTO members are we allow to come together and rally or attend the hearing as a group with one person to speak for all of us as a group? I am really anxious to do something to keep these bills from getting lost in all the paperwork. Any ideals will be helpful and I encourage all to keep those letters coming.

10-31-2005, 05:47 AM
I think a rally is a good way to bring this to them all so the press would help out a lot we should all plan to go to the rally let pick a day and rally at the capital when they are at one of there meetings sounds great to me

10-31-2005, 05:49 AM
PTO members could rally, however, it would not be an offiicial PTO function unless we get written permission from Fed-X

11-01-2005, 04:39 AM
So how about it ladies? Do we do our homework and go for the rally. I'm sure we'll need some kind of permit or something. We'' need info on the procedure. I think this issue is worth fighting for, and we'll need to do more than letters and phone calls. Remember if we stand for nothing, we'll fall for anything.

11-01-2005, 04:43 AM
I think those replies are automatic computer generated, because all replies they send out say the same thing.

11-01-2005, 04:56 AM
Okay ladies I sent out 15 letters yesturday and I emailed them all as well .
Today I plan on calling. Just trying to do my part. I've asked 5 other people to write as well. It's a start the more the better right? Take care and keep fighting!!!!!!

11-01-2005, 04:57 AM
CURE members ..........check with MI-Cure to see if they might be planning some rallies, etc.

11-04-2005, 11:48 AM
CURE members ..........check with MI-Cure to see if they might be planning some rallies, etc.

How do you become a member of CURE? My finacee' had me send them some money for a publication but I wasn't sure what it was. I keep forgettig to ask him about it.

11-05-2005, 12:15 PM
Ladies, if you haven't already done so, please get those letters out to the Judiciary Committee in support of the good time bills. So many bills never even make it on the agenda. We would like to at least have them heard. It is kind of dreary here in the Detroit area so it is a good day to stay inside and write those letters. :D