Michigan’s sensible presumptive-parole bill, which saves taxpayers millions of dollars  a year, has stalled in the state Senate.  Member of the House passed it with a 67-39 vote three weeks ago.

The new parole bill generally grants parole at offender’s earliest release dates, except when public safety is at risk.  It is supported by Governor Snyder and targets the chief reason for Michigan’s excessive prison population and $2 billion-a-year corrections budget.

Michigan does not send more people to prison than other states, but they keep the prisoners locked up for longer.  The average length-of-stay in a Michigan prison is twice those in Ohio.  Historically, the Michigan Parole Board has been reluctant to release parole-eligible offenders, even with good prison conduct and no risk of reoffending.

The bill before the Senate would only apply to offenders who are sentenced after it took effect.