Yancey, Bipartisan Legislators Introduce Jail Reform Bills

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

LANSING, Mich., July 22, 2020 — State Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) and a bipartisan, bicameral group of Michigan legislators introduced a comprehensive package of bills during a press conference Wednesday based on the recommendations of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. Yancey served as an appointed member of the Task Force and sponsored House Bill 5851 in the package, which would eliminate the suspension and revocation of driver’s licenses for certain controlled substance-related offenses. 

“I experienced both the misfortune and fortune of both sides of the law. I overcame youthful mistakes, graduated from law school and served as an Assistant Prosecutor. As a result, I understand the immense and urgent need for the reformed policies we introduced today,” said Yancey. “I was proud to serve on the Task Force alongside my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure Michigan’s criminal justice system is one step closer to truly living up to the ideal of justice for all.”

The package addresses several key findings of the Task Force, including that county jails are high-traffic institutions that impact hundreds of thousands more Michiganders annually than state prisons. The Task Force identified this jail growth as driven largely by incarceration of pretrial defendants and those serving a sentence post-conviction. HB 5851 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.