Michigan AG announces proposals to provide jobs for people with low criminal record

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Many companies have said they are having a hard time finding labor.  - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

  • Shutterstock.com
  • Many companies have said they are having a hard time finding labor.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday announced a proposal that would provide jobs and wraparound services to people accused of low-level, non-violent crimes.

The $ 5.5 million program, called the Jobs Court, would provide up to 450 eligible offenders in Wayne, Genesee and Marquette Counties’ “high-paying jobs” with benefits and training to advance their careers.

After a year, prosecutors would then have the option of dismissing charges against Jobs Court attendees who successfully complete the program. The program would be part of Governor Gretchen Whitmers’ proposed $ 75 million MI Safe Communities Framework, first announced in August.

“Jobs Court is an innovative program that checks all the boxes: it’s smart in terms of crime, reduces the burden on our criminal justice system, puts offenders on a permanent path to success, helps our local businesses and makes our communities safer,” Nessel said in a declaration. “I’m grateful to Governor Whitmer for including my proposal as part of her MI Safe Communities framework, and I look forward to working with the Legislative Assembly and our local law enforcement partners on this groundbreaking new initiative.”

In Wayne County, 200 offenders would be eligible for the program.

“Jobs can be the answer to many of society’s ills,” Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. “Jobs create opportunities. Jobs create hope. Jobs create growth. Jobs create stability. A common dominator of success, even in the criminal justice system, is a good job. For certain lower-level crimes, instead of jail or jail, you get a job.”

In a statement, Whitmer said the program would help eliminate the backlog of cases in the state court system and help fill jobs across the state. Many companies, especially in the hospitality industry, have said they have had a hard time filling vacancies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am grateful for the hard work that Attorney General Nessel has done in putting this proposal together and look forward to working with the legislature to get it done,” Whitmer said.

Jobs Court would also provide offenders with social services such as mental health care, transportation and access to a social worker.

The creation of the program depends on the fact that legislative measures become a reality.

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