Reforming our corrections system. Michigan Policast Episode 23

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Today we spend the bulk of our time on corrections, including a great conversation with Barbara Levine, Associate Director of CAPPS – the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending.  Here’s a partial bio for Barbara:

Barbara Levine was the founder and executive director of CAPPS from 2000-2013 and is the architect of its policy recommendations.  She opted to serve as associate director to focus entirely on research and policy development.

Levine received her Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Michigan.  She has been a member of the Michigan Bar since 1974. She began her career as a staff attorney at the State Appellate Defender Office, representing indigent felony defendants on appeal of their convictions.  From 1979-1983, she taught law school, first at Wayne State University, then at the University of Toledo.  She served as a Commissioner for the Michigan Supreme Court until 1985, when she became the first administrator of the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS).  In that capacity, she trained lawyers appointed to represent indigent defendants on appeal, oversaw the appointment process, enforced minimum performance standards, and worked to obtain improved funding for indigent defense services. Ms. Levine left MAACS in 1999 to focus exclusively on issues affecting prisoners and the constant expansion of the prison system.

You can read the rest of her bio here.

We also chat about the data in the CAPPS presentation here (pdf) and compare CAPPS to the conservative organization, Right on Crime.

Amy spends some time on two issues today, Aramark and term limits.  Here are her Democracy Tree posts on these issues:

We also talk about HB 5974, which is the Republican electoral college scam.  Links:

Conservative views on this subject:

  • Anti electoral scam: Michigan doesn’t need Electoral College reform
  • Pro electoral scam: Michigan Demonstrates Why Elections Matter (Note:  I referred to this as a “republican” site in the podcast; it’s more accurately described as a “conservative” site.)  Here’s an edited excerpt from that post:

    If the law passes, and Michigan’s vote in 2016 remains within historic bounds, it will give the GOP the equivalent of another Nebraska, which has 5 EC votes, which could be vital in a close race.  ……  If the proposed Michigan revamp passes, the GOP will still have enough Electoral College votes to win.  In fact, they would need only one more EC vote to take them to 269, a tie, at which point the Republican House would choose the president, and the Senate would choose the vice president.

That’s it for this week.  Remember to comment, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or send us an email.  We love hearing from you!