Cass’s Fitz participates in Kalamazoo eventPublished 10:21am Wednesday, January 13, 2010
KALAMAZOO – “Michigan’s prisons hold only the worst of the worst felons,” Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said Tuesday. “They are not filled with shoplifters, bad check writers, small-time drug dealers or felony drunk drivers.
“Generally, the only persons who go to prison in Michigan are the murderers, rapists, child molesters, home invaders, armed robbers, major drug dealer and career criminals.
“The reason? For years, sentencing guidelines have been watered down to the point that most felons are locked out of prison. In Michigan, only two out of 10 felons go to prison. The national average is four out of 10.
“Equally disturbing, as pointed out by the 2009 Council of State Government report, per capita,
• Michigan is the most violent state in the Great Lakes region
• Michigan has the fewest police officers in the Great Lakes region
• Michigan has the lowest rate of solving violent crime in the Great Lakes region
• Michigan sends the fewest number of convicted criminals to prison in the Great Lakes region.
“You would think that the last thing our DOC would want to do is to add to Michigan’s disturbing crime wave. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is the case.
“We are concerned that the DOC sees trading dollars for death as an easy way to solve their self-imposed budget woes.
“They see the wholesale release of violent and career criminals as an easy way to get their budget out of the red while at the same spilling the blood of the law abiding citizens of Michigan,” Fitz said.