Sunday, September 20, 2009

Speaker Kay Perry on Prison Reform

On Sept 17th, LWV Speaker Kay Perry presented background information on prison reform questions. The meeting was held at the Dearborn Police Station Training Center.

The scope of the current LWVMI study focuses on these 3 points:
• How and why persons are sent to prison or jail
• How individuals are treated while in prison or jail
• How, when, and why individuals are released from prison or jail to the community

On the first point, the purpose of imprisonment includes retributive, restorative and therapeutic justice.

Retributive justice is based on punishment.
Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the damage.
Therapeutic justice addresses special case scenarios (mental health, drug use).

Treatment of prisoners while incarcerated as well as release and transitioning to society are also important aspects of this study. Local LWV groups in Michigan will be expressing their views in the spring to direct the state league on this issue.